Role of Atlas, Axis and Odontoid Process in the Movement of Head

Role of Atlas, Axis and Odontoid Process in the Movement of Head

(1) Atlas: Atlas is the first cervical vertebra. The atlas, consists basically of a ring of bone that supports the skull by articulating with the occipital condyles.

(2) Axis: Axis is the second cervical vertebra, which articulates with the atlas (the first cervical vertebra, which articulates with the skull). The body of the axis is elongated to form a peg (the odontoid process), which extends into the ring of the atlas and acts as a pivot on which the atlas along with skull, rotate or turn.

(3) Odontoid process: Odontoid process is a tooth-like peg on the anterior surface of the axis vertebra around which the atlas or first cervical vertebra, together with the skull rotates. The odontoid process extends into the ring of the atlas and acts as a pivot on which the atlas (and skull) can turn. (Page 789)

© (From the book “Biology for Medical Entrance”, S. Chand Publishing, New Delhi, India)