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Incise the dura mater over the atlantooccipital joint and reflect a rectangular flap of dura mater posteriorly. Reflect the anterior portion of the tectorial membrane posteriorly. This membrane is continuous with the posterior longitudinal ligament. Identify the cruciform ligament , which is composed of the transverse ligament of the atlas, and superior and inferior longitudinal fibers. Cut the cruciform ligament and reflect it posteriorly and inferiorly . Identify the anterior arch of the atlas [probe].
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