Where are located the alar ligaments of the craniovertebral joint?
The alar ligaments are structures, which arise on both sides of the upper part of the odontoid process and courses obliquely upward and laterally and insert into the medial surface of the condyles of the occipital bones.
What are the functions of the alar ligaments?
The alar ligaments are essential for stabilizing the head during rotatory movements at the craniovertebral junction.
How are the clinical manifestations of calcification of the alar ligament?
Calcification of the alar ligament may be associated with neck and nuchal pain.
What are the computed tomographic features of calcification of the alar ligaments?.
Computed tomography of the cervical spine reveals a focal calcification between the odontoid tip and the occipital condyle, along the course of the alar ligament.
Which are the differential diagnosis of the calcification of the alar ligament?
The differential diagnosis of the calcification of the alar ligament are crowned dens syndrome and fractures of the craniovertebral junction.
There is a corticated ovoid calcification, measuring about 4.2 x 5.1 x 6.5 mm, located between the odontoid tip and the right occipital condyle, along the course of the right alar ligament. There were no other calcifications in the other ligaments of the craniovertebral junction.
There was no evidence of fractures in the odontoid process, the occipital condyles, or the neural arch of the atlas. The spinal canal appeared normal, and there was no dislocation C1-C2.