The alar ligaments connect the sides of the dens (on the axis, or the second cervical vertebra) to tubercles on the medial side of the occipital condyle.
They are short, tough, fibrous cords that attach the skull to C2 vertebra (via the dens) and function to check side-to-side movements of the head when it is turned.
The alar ligament is also known as the "check ligament of the odontoid."
- "Ligament, alar." Stedman's Medical Dictionary, 27th ed. (2000). ISBN 0-683-40007-X
- Moore, Keith L., and Arthur F. Dalley. Clinically Oriented Anatomy, 4th ed. (1999). ISBN 0-683-06141-0