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The anterior longitudinal ligament can become injured following whiplash. The snaps forward and back again, causing the ligament to stretch or tear.Additionally, the ligament could calcify in latr life, which could lead to chronic pain when a spinal nerve/spinal cord becomes constricted/irritated due to deterioration.

Anterior Longitudinal Ligament - Injury

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This ligament is a strong band that lies anterior to the vertebral body. It runs the whole length of the spine from the base of the skull via the cervical spine, thoracic spine and lumbar spine to the sacrum. It attaches anteriorly to each verbral body and to the anterior of the annulus fibrosis.Its function is to prevent hyperextension of the spine and to reinforce the intervertebral disc.

Anterior Longitudinal Ligament - Attachments

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Ligamentum flavum can lose strength and elasticity, which causes it to thicken and buckle towards the spinal column. This due to the loss of elastic fibres, which actually causes collagen fibres to increase.If the ligament buckles to the point that it impinges on a spinal nerve, a patient may experience weakness, numbness, localised pain and radiating pain.OFL (Ossification of Ligamentum Flavum is uncommon, but can causes injuries including thoracic spinal stenosis, myelopaphy and dural ossification.

Ligamentum Flavum - Injury

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The interspinous ligament is made up of thin sheets that connect the spinous processes of adjacent spinal vertebrae from C1 to S1 one segment at a time from roots to apexes.Anteriorly its fibres connect with ligamentum flavum, whereas posteriorly its fibres connect with the supraspinous ligament. The function of this ligament is to limit flexion of the spine, by restricting separation of the spinous processes of the vertebral column.

Interspinous Ligament - Attachments

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This ligament connects the laminae of adjacent vertebrae from C2 to S1.This ligament is felxible and elastic and has pretension, preventing it from buckling.On each side, ligamentum flavum is divided into two portions, the medial portion and the lateral portion. Ligamentum flavum originates from the lower half of the anterior surface of the lamina above and attaches to the posterior surface and upper margin of the lamina below.Its function is to maintain upright posture, help preserve the normal curvature of the spine, and straighten the spnal column after it has been stretched.

Ligamentum Flavum - Attachments

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Ligamentum nuchae, also known as the nuchal ligament, spans across the cervical spine and is continuous with the supraspinous ligament.It forms a two-layered fibroelastic septum, which consists of the dorsal raphe and medial septal part.The ligament stretches during flexion and its elasticity helps to bring th head back to an upright position.This ligament originates from the external occipital protuberance and inserts in to the spinous process of C7.Its function is to limit hyperflexion of the neck and to provide an attachment for trapezius and splenius capitis.

Ligamentum Nuchae - Attachments

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A sprained interspinous ligament is a common mechanical cause of acute low-back pain in athletes.However, they rarely cause intractable low-back pain.

Interspinous Ligament - Injury

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Aging and physical activity cause injury to ligamentum nuchae. This injury breaks cervical lordotic alignment and, in order to maintain lordotic alignment, compensatory OPLL (Ossification of Posterior Longitudinal Ligament) may develop.Injury to ligamentum nuchae may increase the risk of cervical spine instability and malalignment. Resection of ligamentum nuchae could increase flexion range of motion and decrease stiffness in flexion.

Ligamentum Nuchae - Injury

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OPLL (Ossification of the Posterior Longitudinal Ligament) is a condition affecting the posterior longitudinal ligament which causes the ligament to become thicker and less flexible. Some symptoms include pain, tingly and numbness in the hands.OPLL is most commonly seen in the cervical spine and can lead to acute spinal cord injuries from mild trauma.

Posterior Longitudinal Ligament - Injury

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Ligament - A fibrous connective tissue that connects bone to bone.Anterior - Toward the front of the body.Posterior - Toward the back of the body.Medial - Toward the middle/centre of the body.Lateral - Toward the side/away from the centre of the body.Origin - Attachment site that doesn't move during contraction.Insertion - Attachment site that moves when the muscle contracts.

Key Terms

Like the anterior longitudinal ligament, the posterior longitudinal ligament runs through the whole spine, attaching to the vertabra.The ligament is made up of smooth and shiny longitudinal fibers, which are more compact and denser than those of the anterior longitudinal ligament.It originates from the axis located in the cervical spine. It runs downwards and posteriorly to the vertebral bodies and intervertebral discs, attaching at the back of the sacrum and forming the anterior wall of the vertebral canal.The function of this ligament is also to prevent hyperextension of the spine and reinforce the intervertebral disc. It also connects and stabilses the bones of the spinal column.

Posterior Longitudinal Ligament - Attachments

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