Posterior atlantoöccipital membrane

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Posterior atlantoöccipital membrane
Posterior atlantoöccipital membrane and atlantoaxial ligament. (Posterior atlantoöccipital membrane is topmost gray region at center.)
Latin membrana atlantooccipitalis posterior
Gray's subject #74 296
Dorlands/Elsevier m_08/12521997

The posterior atlantoöccipital membrane (posterior atlantoöccipital ligament), broad but thin, is connected above, to the posterior margin of the foramen magnum; below, to the upper border of the posterior arch of the atlas.

On either side this membrane is defective below, over the groove for the vertebral artery, and forms with this groove an opening for the entrance of the artery and the exit of the suboccipital nerve.

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

The membrane is in relation, behind, with the Recti capitis posteriores minores and Obliqui capitis superiores; in front, with the dura mater of the vertebral canal, to which it is intimately adherent.

Additional images

This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained herein may be outdated. Please edit the article if this is the case, and feel free to remove this notice when it is no longer relevant.