cruciate ligament of the atlas

cru·ci·ate lig·a·ment of the at·las

the strong ligament that lies posterior to the dens of the axis holding it against the anterior arch of the atlas; it consists primarily of the transverse ligament of the atlas that forms the cross-bar of the cross and is most important functionally, and the longitudinal bands of the cruciform ligament, thus forming the upright or vertical beams of the cross.
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