This site is intended for healthcare professionals

Go to /sign-in page

You can view 5 more pages before signing in

C2 vertebra

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

The axis or second cervical vertebrae is the strongest of the cervical group. It shows similarity to typical cervical vertebrae with some obvious exceptions:

  • odontoid peg or dens:
    • sited anteriorly in the midline
    • results from fusion with body of atlas
    • facet on its anterosuperior surface projects superiorly onto facet of anterior arch of atlas
    • pointed at apex where apical ligament attaches
    • bevelled sides are origins of alar ligaments
    • posteriorly flat surface lying anterior to transverse ligament
  • vertebral canal: oval and broader in coronal plane
  • body: connects to odontoid process medially and superiorly; superior articular processes and transverse processes laterally; and pedicles posterolaterally
  • pedicles: relatively short and sited at junction of lamina, transverse process and body
  • superior articular facet: the key weight-transmitting structure articulating with inferior facets of atlas
    • slightly convex and face superolaterally
    • permit rotation of atlas on axis
  • inferior articular facet:
    • at junction of pedicles and laminae
    • slightly concave
    • surface slopes anteriorly and inferiorly
  • transverse processes:
    • relatively small
    • contain foramen transversarium
    • no anterior tubercle
    • bounded by costotransverse lamella
  • laminae: broad and project posteriorly to spinous process in median plane
  • spinous process:
    • bifid
    • relatively large allowing use as a palpation landmark

Related pages

Create an account to add page annotations

Add information to this page that would be handy to have on hand during a consultation, such as a web address or phone number. This information will always be displayed when you visit this page

The content herein is provided for informational purposes and does not replace the need to apply professional clinical judgement when diagnosing or treating any medical condition. A licensed medical practitioner should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.

Connect

Copyright 2024 Oxbridge Solutions Limited, a subsidiary of OmniaMed Communications Limited. All rights reserved. Any distribution or duplication of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited. Oxbridge Solutions receives funding from advertising but maintains editorial independence.