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Sesamoid ossicles of the nuchal ligament

Sesamoid ossicles of the nuchal ligament are a relatively common anatomical variant that are usually asymptomatic and most commonly occur at the C5/6 or C6/7 vertebral levels. 


They occur in ~7.5% of the population, with a male predominance of 3:1 1

Radiographic features

Plain radiograph
  • well-defined, corticated, round or oval opacity on lateral projection
  • cortical bone with central marrow within the nuchal ligament
Anatomy: Spine
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Article information

rID: 25728
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Nuchal ligament sesamoid ossicle
  • Fabella nuchae

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Cases and figures

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