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The suboccipital triangle has an inferomedial pointing apex (pointing towards the nuchal ligament) formed by the rectus capitis posterior major (superomedial border) and the obliquus capitis inferior (inferomedial border) muscles. The base of the triangle is superolaterally formed by the obliquus capitis superior muscle.
The suboccipital triangle 'floor' is deep to the muscular triangle (i.e. anterior), formed by the posterior atlantooccipital membrane and posterior arch of the atlas 1. The 'roof' is located superficially (i.e. posterior) and is formed by the semispinalis capitis muscle and a dense layer of adipose tissue 1.
superomedial border: rectus capitis posterior major
superolateral border: obliquus capitis superior
inferomedial border: obliquus capitis inferior
dorsal ramus of the first cervical nerve (suboccipital nerve)
third part of the vertebral artery
suboccipital venous plexus
medial: nuchal ligament
posterior elements of C1 and C2
posterior atlanto-occipital membrane
semispinalis capitis muscle
second cervical dorsal ramus
second part of the vertebral artery
arterial: branches of the vertebral artery and occipital artery, deep descending branches supply the sub-occipital muscles 1
venous: via the sub-occipital venous plexus
The muscles of the sub-occipital triangle are innervated by the suboccipital nerve (dorsal ramus of C1) 1.
- 1. Susan Standring. Gray's Anatomy. (2019) ISBN: 9780443066849