Suboccipital triangle

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Suboccipital triangle
Suboccipital triangle dissection - Suboccipital triangle.png
Artist depiction of the muscles that border the suboccipital triangle.
Suboccipital triangle11.png
Gray's p.402
Anatomical terminology

The suboccipital triangle is a region of the neck bounded by the following three muscles of the suboccipital group of muscles:

(Rectus capitus posterior minor is also in this region but does not form part of the triangle)

It is covered by a layer of dense fibro-fatty tissue, situated beneath the Semispinalis capitis.

The floor is formed by the posterior occipito-atlantal membrane, and the posterior arch of the atlas.

In the deep groove on the upper surface of the posterior arch of the atlas are the vertebral artery and the first cervical or suboccipital nerve.

The vertebral artery is accessed here in order to conduct angiography of the circle of Willis.

Contents of the suboccipital triangle[edit]

1) Third part of vertebral artery
2) Dorsal ramus of nerve C1-suboccipital nerve
3) Suboccipital venous plexus

The purpose of these muscles is to provide fine motor function in movements of the head. The actions of trapezius, sternocleidomastoid and other larger muscles that move the head are refined by the relatively small suboccipital triangle muscles.

Additional images[edit]

References[edit]

This article incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy.

See also[edit]

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