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Posterior Ramus of Second Cervical Nerve (Left)
Nervous System

Posterior Ramus of Second Cervical Nerve (Left)

Ramus posterior nervi cervicalis secundi

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Quick Facts

Origin: Second cervical nerve.

Course: Travels backwards for a short distance above the lamina of the axis.

Branches: Greater occipital nerve and lateral branch.

Supply: Motor innervation to obliquus capitis inferior, longissimus capitis, semispinalis capitis, and splenius capitis muscles. Sensory innervation to the scalp and dura mater in the posterior cranial fossa.

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Origin

The posterior ramus of second cervical nerve is one of two branches of the second cervical nerve, the other being the anterior ramus.

Course

The posterior ramus of the second cervical nerve is largest among all cervical posterior rami. It passes posteriorly to emerge between the lamina of the axis (C2 vertebra) and the obliquus capitis inferior muscle.

Branches

The posterior ramus of the second cervical nerve divides into a large medial branch, called the greater occipital nerve, and a smaller lateral branch.

Supplied Structures

The posterior ramus innervates the obliquus capitis inferior muscle via communications sent from the greater occipital nerve to the suboccipital nerve. Fibers which pass through the smaller lateral branch of the posterior ramus innervate the longissimus capitis, semispinalis capitis, and splenius capitis muscles.

Sensory cutaneous fibers ending of the greater occipital nerve reach the scalp by passing through the gap between sternocleidomastoid and trapezius muscles. It ascends, accompanying the occipital artery, to reach the scalp to provide sensory innervation to the skin as far as the coronal suture and behind the auricle, via its communication with the third occipital and lesser occipital nerves.

List of Clinical Correlates

—Greater occipital neuralgia

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Cervical Nerves

ScienceDirect image

Burner or stinger syndrome is a syndrome resulting from injuries to either the upper cervical nerve roots or the upper trunk of BP.

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