In the last two decades, many studies have focused on the muscles and dense connective tissues located in the suboccipital region. Our study investigated the existence of the second terminations originating from the suboccipital muscles, and the relationship between the variable types of the To Be Named Ligament (TBNL). Anatomical dissection was performed on 35 head-neck specimens. The existence of the second terminations of the suboccipital muscles was confirmed and various types of the TBNL were observed in this study. The second terminations originated from multiple suboccipital muscles including the rectus capitis posterior minor (RCPmi), rectus capitis posterior major (RCPma) and obliquus capitis inferior (OCI) muscles, merged and terminated at the TBNL. The overall incidence of the second terminations of the suboccipital muscles was 34.29% and it varied among the various suboccipital muscle origins. 28.57% of the second terminations originated from the RCPma; 11.43% was from the RCPmi and 8.57% was from the OCI. Furthermore, there was a significant relationship between the existence of second terminations and the particular type of the TBNL. 95% of the arcuate type of the TBNL was accompanied with the second terminations which attached to their turning part, whereas only 10% of all the radiate type of the TBNL was accompanied with the second terminations. This study for the first time described the second terminations originating from multiple suboccipital muscles and demonstrated the relationship with the various types of the TBNL. We speculated that the second terminations maintain the arcuate TBNL and transfer tensile forces to the Myodural Bridge (MDB), thereby modulating the physiological functions of the MDB.
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© 2017 Yuan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.