Skip to main content

Unfortunately we don't fully support your browser. If you have the option to, please upgrade to a newer version or use Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, or Safari 14 or newer. If you are unable to, and need support, please send us your feedback.

Elsevier
Publish with us
Lesser Occipital Nerve
Nervous System

Lesser Occipital Nerve

Nervus occipitalis minor

Read more

Quick Facts

Origin: Anterior ramus of second cervical nerve (C2).

Course: Ascends along the posterior border of sternocleidomastoid muscle and pierces the deep fascia to reach the skin behind the auricle.

Branches: None.

Supply: Posterior auricular skin.

Complete Anatomy
The world's most advanced 3D anatomy platform
Try it for Free

Origin

The lesser occipital nerve arises from the anterior ramus of the second cervical nerve (sometimes also receiving a contribution from anterior ramus of the third cervical nerve).

Course

The lesser occipital nerve winds around the spinal accessory nerve and then ascends along the posterior border of sternocleidomastoid muscle. The nerve pierces the deep fascia at the level of the cranium to reach the scalp behind the auricle.

Branches

There are no named branches.

Supplied Structures

The lesser occipital nerve provides cutaneous innervation to the posterior surface of the auricle and the adjacent portion of the scalp.

List of Clinical Correlates

—Cervicogenic headache

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Lesser Occipital Nerve

ScienceDirect image

The lesser occipital nerve (LON) arises from the ventral primary rami of C2 and C3 and passes superiorly and laterally from the occiput to the lateral edge of the sternocleidomastoid muscle.

Explore on ScienceDirect(opens in new tab/window)

Complete Anatomy

The world's most advanced 3D anatomy platform

Complete Anatomy