transverse ligament of the atlasmedical dictionary

Thick, strong, centrally flattened band spanning the vertebral foramen of the atlas as it extends from the medial aspect of one lateral mass to the other, passing dorsal to the dens with which it articulates; it forms the dorsal portion of the opening for the dens, tightly embracing its neck. It forms a part of the "cross-bar" of the cruciform ligament of the atlas.

See: cruciform ligament of atlas.

Synonyms: ligamentum transversum atlantis, Lauth's ligament, transverse atlantal ligament.

(05 Mar 2000)