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Posterior longitudinal ligament

Recommended video: Vertebral column [21:36]
Structure and function of the vertebral column.

The posterior longitudinal ligament (PLL) runs within the vertebral canal, along the posterior surface of the vertebral bodies between the axis (C2 vertebra) and the sacrum. It is mainly attached to the intervertebral discs but also has attachments to the posterior aspects of the vertebral bodies. Superior to the axis, the PLL broadens and continues to the floor of the cranial cavity as the tectorial membrane.

In comparison the the anterior longitudinal ligament, the PLL is narrower and weaker and functions to weakly resist hyperflexion of the vertebral column as well as prevent posterior herniation of the intervertebral discs.

Terminology English: Posterior longitudinal ligament
Latin: Ligamentum longitudinale posterius
Attachments C2 > sacrum. Attaches to intervertebral discs and posterior aspects of vertebral bodies along its length
Function Prevent hyperflexion of the vertebral column and posterior herniation of the intervertebral discs

Learn more about the joints and ligaments of the vertebral column with this study unit (and article):

Posterior longitudinal ligament: want to learn more about it?

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