Bilateral sternocleidomastoid variant with six distinct insertions along the superior nuchal line
Anatomical variations of the sternocleidomastoid muscle (SCM) have been observed to occupy multiple origins and insertion points and have supernumerary heads, sometimes varying in thickness. During routine dissection, a SCM was observed to have six distinct insertions that interface with the course of the superior nuchal line, ending at the midline, bilaterally. This variation was also seen to receive innervation from the accessory nerve as well as the great auricular nerve. To our knowledge, this variant of supernumerary insertions and nerve innervations has not yet been reported. These variants may pose as problematic during surgical approaches to the upper neck and occiput, and should thus be appreciated by the clinician. Herein we discuss the case report, possible embryological origins, and the clinical significance of the observed variant SCM.