Between the atlas and the axis (first and second cervical vertebrae) there are three diarthroses. Two of these are lateral and have to do with articular processes, and the third is mesial. This mesial diarthrosis is between the posterior aspect of the anterior arch of the atlas (first cervical vertebra) and the anterior surface of the odontoid process of the axis (second cervical vertebra). Alinement between the atlas and the axis is maintained by the anterior and posterior atlo-axoid ligaments and by the transverse ligament of the atlas. This transverse ligament of the atlas is one of the most important structures in the body, for on its integrity one's life largely depends. It is attached on each end to a tubercle on the inner side of the lateral mass of the atlas, crosses the ring of this bone, dividing it into a small anterior portion for the odontoid process of
KAMMAN GR. RECURRING ATLO-AXIAL DISLOCATION WITH REPEATED INVOLVEMENT OF THE CORD AND RECOVERY. JAMA. 1939;112(20):2018–2020. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.1939.02800200016004
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