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Lateral Mass (Right)
Skeletal System

Lateral Mass (Right)

Massa lateralis atlantis

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The lateral masses are the two expanded, oval, laterally located parts of the atlas (first cervical vertebra). They are both continuous:

—anteromedially, with the anterior arch of atlas;

—posteromedially, with the posterior arch of atlas;

—laterally, with a transverse process.

On its corresponding side, each lateral mass of atlas:

—consists of superior and inferior articular facets and a transverse ligament tubercle; —provides an origin site for a rectus capitis anterior muscle and an attachment site for the transverse ligament of atlas;

—articulates superiorly with an occipital condyle, forming an atlantooccipital joint;

—articulates inferiorly with a superior articular process of the axis, forming a lateral atlantoaxial joint.

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