c1 nerve; occiput cutaneous innervation; sensory suboccipital nerve; suboccipital nerve
Variations of the suboccipital nerve are infrequently reported. This nerve derived from the C1 spinal nerve is usually a small branch that primarily innervates the short suboccipital muscles. During the routine dissection of the occipital region in an adult cadaver, a vastly enlarged left-sided suboccipital nerve was identified. The nerve innervated the short suboccipital muscles and overlying semispinalis capitis in normal fashion. However, it continued cranially to end in the overlying skin of the occiput. Although not normally thought to have a cutaneous branch, recalcitrant occipital neuralgia might be due to such a variant branch. Future studies are necessary to further elucidate this proposed pathomechanism.
Neurosciences (Brain & Spine)
Lake, Sasha; Iwanaga, Joe; Oskouian, Rod J; Loukas, Marios; and Tubbs, R Shane, "A Case Report of an Enlarged Suboccipital Nerve with Cutaneous Branch." (2018). Articles, Abstracts, and Reports. 702.