Cervical fascia and posterior triangles of neck

Fascia of the neck


  1. Affords the slipperiness which enables structures to move and pass over one another , without difficulty, e.g. during swallowing.
  2. Allows twisting of the neck without it creaking like a manilla rope.
  3. It allows a looseness that provides the easiest pathways for vessels and nerves to reach their destinations.


Layers (components)

Investing layer




  • External occipital protuberances
  • Superior nuchal line
  • Ligamentum nuchae
  • Spines of cervical vertabra
  • Mastoid process
  • Lower border of the mandible
  • Zygomatic arch
  • Styloid process
  • Hyoid bone


  • Acromion
  • Clavicle
  • Manubrium sterni

structures enclosed/ surrounded



  • Sternomastoid muscle (1)
  • Trapezius (2)
  • Omohyoid muscle
  • Parotid
  • Submandibular gland


  • Posterior triangle of the neck
  • Anterior triangle of the neck


  • Infrahyoid muscles

Suprasternal space (of Burns)
  • In the Suprasternal notch, the investing fascia splits into two layers:

    • One attaches to the anterior border of the manubrium

    • The other to the posterior border

  • This leaves a small suprasternal space containing:

    • A little fat

    • A lymph node

    • Lower sections of the anterior jugular veins

    • Jugular venous arch

    • Sternal heads of sternomastoid

Structures piercing the investing fascia

  • External jugular vein

  • Cervical plexus

  • Lymphatics