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Laboratory 31. Pharynx
Step 2. Severing Structures of the Atlantooccipital Joint

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Place a scalpel in the space between the atlas and the occipital bone and sever the articular capsule of the atlantooccipital joint. Finally, cut the muscles in the suboccipital region near their attachment to the skull. It is not necessary to sever the sternocleidomastoid muscle near its attachment to the mastoid process.

Links and References:
Grant's: 4.61, 4.62
Netter: 15, 16