Bilateral bifid occipital condyles presenting with the right accessory articular surface

  • AP Gesase
  • M Manyama
Keywords: Skull, Basoocciput, Occipital condyle, Foramen magnum, craniovertebral junction


The current observation reports the anomalies involving the occipital condyles in a 38 years old male as seen during dissection. Both condyles presented with a transverse cleft measuring about 2mm wide that divided the occipital condyles into rostral and caudal segments. The caudal segments were oval-cuboidal in shape and on average they measured 1.8cm long and 1.5cm wide. The rostral segment appeared elongate in shape and measured 0.5cm wide and 2cm long. Unlike the left occipital condyle the right occipital condyle contained an additional oblique cleft that separated the left caudal occipital segment into the inner main portion and the outer accessory articular surface. The accessory articular surface was concave in shape and covered with the articular cartilage. The exact mechanism that resulted into formation of reported anomalies are not
known and awaits future research. The craniovertebral junction is embryologically very dynamic region and subject to variations that can give rise into different types of congenital anomalies. Anomalies of the occipital condyles and other elements of craniovertebral junction are in many cases associated with neurological symptoms, therefore, continued documentation of such anomalies remains to be important not only for anatomists but also to clinicians.

Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 1821-7613