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Anterior longitudinal ligament

Recommended video: Cervical spine [10:16]
Bones, ligaments and joints of the cervical spine.

The anterior longitudinal ligament is a strong broad band of fibrous tissue running along the anterolateral surfaces of the vertebral bodies and intervertebral discs throughout the entire length of the vertebral column.

Superiorly, this ligament attaches to the occipital bone, anterior to the foramen magnum and to the anterior tubercle of vertebra C1 (atlas). It then extends caudally to attach to the anterosuperior surface of the upper sacrum.

The anterior longitudinal ligament has several layers and in addition to supporting the joints between the vertebral bodies, it is the only ligament that prevents hyperextension of the spine. It equally helps to reinforce the intervertebral discs, preventing herniation.

Terminology English: Anterior longitudinal ligament

: Ligamentum longitudinale anterius
Synonym: Ligamentum longitudinale commune ventrale
Definition The anterior longitudinal ligament is a strong fibrous band running along the anterolateral surfaces of the vertebral bodies and intervertebral discs.

Learn more about the joints and ligaments of the vertebral column in the following study unit:

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