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Cervical vertebra C1 (Atlas)

The atlas, also known as C1, is the first cervical vertebra, is located between the axis (C2) and the skull, and is characterised by a distinctive anatomy. The atlas has a ring shape with an internal cavity where the odontoid process of C2 accommodates. The atlas has an anterior and posterior tubercule, two superior articular facets that articulates with the occipital condyle, and two lateral transverse processes containing triangular foramina for the passage of the vertebral veins, arteries and nerves to the brain. Along with the axis (C2), the atlas is responsible for enabling rotation of the head, and flexion, extension and lateral flexion of the head.
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