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Strong, thick bands that project slightly above the horizontal plane as they course laterally from the posterolateral surface of the dens. They widen slightly as they insert on the medial aspect of the occipital condyles, sometimes giving off additional slips to the lateral mass of the atlas.
Stabilize the occipitoatlantoaxial complex. Limit rotation at the atlanto-axial joint and flexion at the atlanto-occipital joint.