Posterior longitudinal ligament

Last revised by Craig Hacking on 28 Oct 2020

The posterior longitudinal ligament (PLL) is a long and important ligament located immediately posterior to the vertebral bodies (to which it attaches loosely) and intervertebral discs (to which it is firmly attached).

It extends from the back of the sacrum inferiorly and gradually broadens as it ascends. At the level of C2 (the axis) it spreads out and becomes the tectorial membrane that eventually inserts into the base of skull 1,2.

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1
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  • Figure 2: ligaments of the lumbar spine (Gray's illustration)
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  • Figure 3: PLL (Gray's illustration)
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