Ligamentum flavum

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View of a segment with three vertebrae from the front (ventral), vertebral canal opened
Hypertrophy of the lig. flava at the level of the 5th lumbar vertebra on the MRI with severe narrowing of the spinal canal . The Ligg. flava are very dark on the MRI (the thick, rounded 'V' in the middle).

The ligamentum flavum ( lat. "Yellow band") is an in each case between two vertebrae located, the spine stabilizing band .

The ligamenta flava are each stretched between the vertebral arches and were therefore formerly also known as the ligamenta interarcualia . So that they border each intervertebral foramen ( intervertebral foramen ) to the middle ( medial ) and back ( dorsal down). Their yellowish color is caused by elastic fibers arranged like a scissor grid , which for the most part form these bands. These ligaments are also taut in the resting state. When the spine is bent, they are stretched more and thus help straightening up.

When puncturing the epidural space (see epidural anesthesia ) or subarachnoid space , the slight resistance when piercing this ligament is an indication of the precise positioning of the cannula.

A hypertrophy of the yellow ligaments can (often in combination with other factors) to a spinal stenosis lead.


  • Franz-Viktor Salomon: Bone Connections . In: F.-V. Salomon et al. (Ed.): Anatomy for veterinary medicine. Enke-Verlag, Stuttgart, 2nd ext. Edition 2008, ISBN 978-3-8304-1075-1 , pp. 110-147.