As of the latest update, Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge have made a breaking change to how file uploads are handled. Once your system installs this update, you will not be able to upload new images. Please use another browser until we can get it fixed.

Alar ligament

The alar ligaments join the lateral margins of the sloping upper posterior margin of the dens of C2 to the lateral margins of the foramen magnum (adjacent to the occipital condyles) and lie on either side of the apical ligament. They may be oblique or vertical and are thickest at the occipital attachment. They are paired ligaments that are very strong and limit axial rotation and contralateral lateral flexion of the head.

In conjunction with the transverse band of the cruciform ligament, they are the primary stabilizers of the atlantoaxial joint 2.

Related pathology

Anatomy: Spine
Share article

Article information

rID: 36584
System: Spine
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Alar ligaments

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Cases and figures

  • Figure 1
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

     Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

     Thank you for updating your details.