Supraspinous ligament

Supraspinous ligament

Median sagittal section of two lumbar vertebræ and their ligaments.

Posterior view of muscles connecting the upper extremity to the vertebral column. Nuchal ligament labeled in red at center.
From Spinous process of C7
To Sacrum
Latin ligamentum supraspinale
TA A03.2.01.005
FMA 13425

Anatomical terminology

The supraspinous ligament, also known as the supraspinal ligament, is a ligament found along the vertebral column.


The supraspinous ligament connects the tips of the spinous processes from the seventh cervical vertebra to the sacrum. Above the seventh cervical vertebra, the supraspinous ligament is continuous with the nuchal ligament.[1] :45

Between the spinous processes it is continuous with the interspinous ligaments.

It is thicker and broader in the lumbar than in the thoracic region, and intimately blended, in both situations, with the neighboring fascia.

The most superficial fibers of this ligament extend over three or four vertebrae; those more deeply seated pass between two or three vertebrae while the deepest connect the spinous processes of neighboring vertebrae.


The supraspinous ligament, along with the posterior longitudinal ligament, interspinous ligaments and ligamentum flavum, help to limit hyperflexion of the vertebral column.

See also

This article uses anatomical terminology; for an overview, see Anatomical terminology.


  1. ↑ Drake, Richard L.; Vogl, Wayne; Tibbitts, Adam W.M. Mitchell; illustrations by Richard; Richardson, Paul (2005). Gray's anatomy for students (Pbk. ed.). Philadelphia: Elsevier/Churchill Livingstone. ISBN 978-0-443-06612-2.
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