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The mobile "Condylus tertius occipitalis" and fractures of the hypochordal clasp

K.-S. Saternus, G. Kernbach-Wighton and J. Koebke
Anthropologischer Anzeiger
Jahrg. 66, H. 2 (Juni 2008), pp. 155-165
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/29542943
Page Count: 11
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The mobile "Condylus tertius occipitalis" and fractures of the hypochordal clasp
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Abstract

The Condylus tertius is defined as a small bony hunch on the anterior surface of the clivus. Its presence means an enormous functional impairment of the upper head joint, looking at the 3-point-contact between the skull base and the upper cervical vertebrae. In 10 of the 2000 forensic examined bodies, analyses of neck vertebra + skull base revealed this feature. The origin of these findings is discussed, as stated in the literature of embryology, to be a suboccipital hypochordal plate. So in one of the cases the condylus was found at the hypochordal plate itself whereas the so-called socket was lying at the margin of the clivus. In three cases there was found a free body between the apex of the Dens and the Clivus forming a mobile Condylus tertius. In our opinion its position varies over the anterior arch of the atlas and the apex of the dens as a result of rotatory forces between the atlas and axis and physiological strain. Examples are given to elucidate this. There is a difference in the differentiation of the deposited material according to functional demand. A pressure bed (i.e. a Condylus tertius) is formed when a bony structure is deposited on the clivus. This functional prospect relativises the hypothesis of a purely constitutional genesis of the Condylus tertius. A fracture of the hypochordal clasp being joined with a bony connection to the anterior atlantic arch is described for the first time.

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