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radiate ligament

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The radiate ligament is a support for the joint of the heads of the ribs. It consists of 3 parts each having one insertion into the anterior surface of the body of the head:

  • upper fibres: pass to the inferolateral surface of the body of the vertebra above the rib's corresponding vertebra
  • middle fibres:
    • pass horizontally superficial to the intervertebral disc and deep to the anterior longitudinal ligament on the front of the vertebral bodies
    • blend with the anterior surface of the intervertebral disc
    • merge with fibres from the other side
    • this type of structure is termed a hypochordal bow
  • inferior fibres: pass to the superolateral surface of the body of the corresponding thoracic vertebra

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