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LigamentAttaches (origin/insertion)Function
Cervical Ligaments
Anterior longitudinalAnterior vertebral body & disc to next vertebraeResists neck extension
Annulus fibrosusVertebral bodies from C3-S1Shock absorption, resists all spinal motions
Posterior longitudinalPosterior vertebral body & disc to next vertebraeResists neck flexion
Z-joint capsuleFacet below to facet aboveResist flexion & lateral flexion of neck
Ligamentum flavumLaminae to laminaeResists flexion of trunk, elasticity assists extension of trunk
InterspinousSpinous process to spinous processResists flexion of trunk & shear forces on vertebrae
SupraspinousSpinous process to SP aboveResists trunk flexion & forward shear force on spine
NuchalEOP to C7-T1 SpsResists flexion, attachment point for muscles
AlarApex of dens to medial occipitalResists lateral flexion & rotation of head; holds dens into atlas
ApicalApex of dens to front foramen magnumHolds dens into atlas & skull
CruciformOdontoid bone to arch of atlas (C1-2 stability)Stabilizes C1-C2, resists anterior translation of C1 (prevent brainstem compression)
Thoracic Ligaments
Anterior longitudinalAnterior vertebral body & disc to next vertebraeResists spinal extension
Annulus fibrosusVertebral bodies from C3-S1Shock absorption, resists all spinal motions
Posterior longitudinalPosterior vertebral body & disc to next vertebraeResists spinal flexion
Z-joint capsuleFacet above to facet belowResist flexion & lateral flexion of trunk
Ligamentum flavumLaminae to laminaeResists flexion of trunk, elasticity assists extension of trunk
InterspinousSpinous process to SPResists flexion of trunk, & shear forces on vertebrae
SupraspinousSpinous process to SP above on tipsResists trunk flexion & forward shear force on spine
IntertransverseTransverse process to TPResists lateral flexion of trunk
CostotransverseTubercles of ribs to transverse process of vertebraeSupports rib attachment to thoracic vertebrae
RadiateHead of ribs to body of vertebraeMaintains ribs to thoracic vertebrae
Lumbar & SI Ligaments
Anterior longitudinalAnterior vertebral body & disc to next vertebraeResists spinal extension
Annulus fibrosusVertebral bodies from C3-S1Shock absorption, resists all spinal motions
Posterior longitudinalPosterior vertebral body & disc to next vertebraeResists spinal flexion
Z-joint capsuleFacet below to facet aboveResist flexion & lateral flexion of trunk
Ligamentum flavumLaminae to laminaeResists flexion of trunk, elasticity assists extension of trunk
InterspinousSpinous process to spinous processResists flexion of trunk, & shear forces on vertebrae
SupraspinousSpinous process to SP aboveResists trunk flexion & forward shear force on spine
IntertransverseTransverse process to TPResists lateral flexion of trunk
IliolumbarTransverse process of L4-5 to iliac crestResists lumbar flexion & rotation
InguinalASIS to pubic tubercleAttachment point of abdominal muscle and fascia lata of thigh
SacrotuberousSacrum to ischial tuberosityResists sacral nutation
SacrospinousSacrum to ischial spineResists sacral nutation & lateral flexion
Sacroiliac (ant/post)Sacrum to iliumResists sacral nutation, holds SI joint together
Shoulder Ligaments
AcromioclavicularAcromion process to clavicleResists AC joint separation
CoracoacromialCorocoid process to acromion processForms arch over shoulder
Coracoclavicular
Trapezoid
Conoid
Coracoid process to clavicleResists anterior and posterior scapula movements & upward/downward movements of clavicle on scapula
CoracohumeralCoracoid process to greater and lesser tuberosity on humerusResists upward humeral head movement & external rotation.
Supports weight of arm
CostoclavicularClavicle to 1st ribResists clavicle elevation, anterior, posterior, and lateral movement.
Supports weight of arm
Glenohumeral
Superior
Middle
Inferior
Upper, anterior edge of glenoid to over, in front, and below humeral headTight with external rotation & abduction past 100.
Prevents anterior dislocation of humerus; resists clavicular motion, supports weight of arm
InterclavicularClavicle to clavicleChecks motion of clavicle, supports arm weight
Elbow Ligaments
AnnularAnterior margin of radial notch to posterior margin of radial notionSurrounds and supports head of radius; holds radius in joint
Radial collateralLateral epicondyle to annular ligamentSupports lateral joint (resists varus forces)
Ulnar collateral
Posterior, Transverse, Anterior
Medial epicondyle, olecranon process to coronoid processSupports medial joint (resists valgus forces - throwing, falling)
Wrist & Hand Ligaments
Interosseous membraneShafts of radius & ulnaResists separation of radius & ulna, helps control supination & pronation, attachment point for forearm muscles
Radial CollateralRadius to scaphoid, trapeziumSupports lateral side of wrist (resists valgus forces)
Ulnar CollateralUlna to pisiform, triquetrumSupports medial side of wrist (resists varus forces, support triangular fibrocartilage)
Dorsal RadiocarpalDistal radius to scaphoid, lunate, triquetrumConnects radius to carpals; supports posterior side of wrist
Palmar IntercarpalScaphoid to lunate, triquetrumHolds carpals together
Palmar PlatesAcross anterior joint of MP, PIP, DIPSupports anterior MP, PIP, & DIP joint
Palmar RadiocarpalDistal radius to scaphoid, lunate, triquetrumConnects radius to carpals; supports anterior side of wrist
Transverse CarpalHamate & pisiform to scaphoid & trapeziumFibrous sheath which contains carpal tunnel, important part of digital flexor pulley system
IntercarpalFirst row of carpals to second row of carpalsHolds carpals together
CollateralPhalanx to phalanx, sides of MCP, PIP & DIP jointsSupports sides of fingers; resists varus/valgus force
Hip Ligaments
IliofemoralAIIS to intertrochanteric line of femurSupports anterior hip; resists in movements of extension, internal rotation, external rotation
IschiofemoralPosterior acetabulum to iliofemoral ligamentResists adduction & internal rotation
PubofemoralPubic part of acetabulum, superior rami to intertrochanteric lineResists in movements of abduction & external rotation
Ligament teresAcetabular notch & transverse ligament to pit on head of femurTransmits vessels to head of femur; may resist distraction forces of joint
Obturator MembraneCovers obturator foramenAttachment point of obturator internus & externus
Knee Ligaments
Patellar (infrapatellar tend.)Interior patella to tibial tuberosityTransmits force from quadriceps to tibia
Anterior CruciateAnterior intercondylar area of tibia to medial surface of lateral femoral condyleResists anterior tibial translation & extension, internal rotation, flexion (tight in full extension)
Posterior cruciatePosterior tibial spine to inner lateral femoral condyleResists posterior tibial movement, movements of flexion & rotation (tight in full extension)
Medial (tibial) collateralMedial epicondyle of femur to medial condyle of tibia & medial meniscusResists valgus forces (tight in extension) & internal/external rotation (direct attachment to medial meniscus)
Lateral (fibular) collateralLateral epicondyle of femur to head of fibulaResists varus forces (tight in extension)
Anterolateral lig (ALL)Lateral femur epicondyle to proximal tibia (attaches to lateral meniscus)Supports anterolateral stability of the knee (may influence meniscus mobility)
Proximal Tib-FibTibia to fibular headHolds fibula against tibia, resists superior, anterior and posterior fibular translation (heel strike)
Ankle Ligaments
InterosseousShaft of fibula to tibiaResists separation of tibia & fibula, muscle attachment point
Tibiofibular (anterior/posterior)Distal fibula to tibiaResists separation of tibia & fibula
Anterior talofibularLateral malleolus to neck of talusResists anterior displacement of foot/talar tilt; resists plantar flexion & inversion
CalcaneofibularLateral malleolus to tubercle on outer calcaneusResists inversion & backward translation of foot
Posterior talofibularInner, back, lateral malleolus to posterior surface of talusResists plantar flexion, dorsiflexion, inversion
DeltoidMedial malleolus to talus, navicular, calcaneusResists valgus forces to ankle; plantar flexion, dorsiflexion, eversion, & abduction of foot
Spring or Plantar calcaneonavicularAnterior margin of calcaneus to inferior navicularSupports arch
Long plantarInferior calcaneus to cuboid & metatarsalsSupports arch
Transverse metatarsalTarsals to metatarsalsSupports arch; maintains relationship between tarsals & metatarsals
IntertarsalTarsal to tarsalMaintain articular relationship & arch
CollateralPhalanx to phalanx, sides of MTP, PIP & DIP jointsSupports sides of toes; resists varus/valgus force
(c)Dr. Nikita Vizniak. All Rights ReservedIn order to use these tables as a learning tool, you will need to have JavaScript enabled.

©Dr. Nikita Vizniak – These ligament tables are often slightly different than those found in the muscle manual and other texts to allow students learning to realize there are subtle differences in anatomical variation and nomenclature ultimate allowing you to be more aware of real life presentation – after 15 years and over 400 cadaver dissections this author is always amazed at the differences found in the human body every time we are in the cadaver lab – all text books and videos are only accurate to a point!