Posterior atlantooccipital membrane

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Posterior atlantooccipital membrane
Posterior atlantooccipital membrane and atlantoaxial ligament. (Posterior atlantooccipital membrane is topmost gray region at center.)
Latin membrana atlantooccipitalis posterior
Gray's p.296
TA A03.1.08.004
FMA 25006
Anatomical terminology

The posterior atlantooccipital membrane (posterior atlantooccipital ligament) is a broad but thin membrane. It is connected above to the posterior margin of the foramen magnum and below to the upper border of the posterior arch of the atlas.

On each side of this membrane there is a defect above the groove for the vertebral artery which serves as an opening for the entrance of the artery. The suboccipital nerve also passes through this defect.

The free border of the membrane arches over the artery and nerve and is sometimes ossified.

The membrane is deep to the Recti capitis posteriores minores and Obliqui capitis superiores and is superficial to the dura mater of the vertebral canal to which it is closely associated.

Additional images[edit]


This article incorporates text in the public domain from the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)