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Spine and Nerve Anatomy

Chapter 5

High Cervical Spine: C1-C2
The highest two vertebrae in the cervical spine have very specialized shapes and functions. The joint between the C1 vertebra or "Atlas" and the skull is responsible for 50% of the flexion and extension in the neck – (nodding the head to indicate: "yes"). The joint between the C1 vertebra and the C2 vertebra or "Axis" provides 50% of the side to side turning in the neck (shaking the head to indicate: "no"). Reproduced from Atlas of Human Anatomy by Frank Netter, MD, with permission of Icon Learning Systems.