Atlanto-axial joint

The Atlanto-axial joint (articulation of the atlas with the axis) is of a complicated nature, comprising no fewer than four distinct joints.

There is a pivot articulation between the odontoid process of the axis and the ring formed by the anterior arch and the transverse ligament of the atlas.

Lateral and medial joints

Here there are two joints:

  • one between the posterior surface of the anterior arch of the atlas and the front of the odontoid process
  • the other between the anterior surface of the ligament and the back of the process

Between the articular processes of the two bones there is on either side an arthrodial or gliding joint.


The ligaments connecting these bones are:

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