Anatomy 43-50 - 43. Cartilages, ligaments, membranes &...

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The larynx is a special part of the body that functions as an airway to the lungs as well as providing us with a way of communicating (vocalizing). These functions are all possible because of the skeletal components and the muscles that act on them. Before learning the details, memorize the various parts of the skeleton so that you can then visually place the muscles in the correct places and appreciate how they do their jobs. Laryngeal cartilages can refer to: Arytenoid cartilage Cricoid Epiglottis Thyroid cartilage The skeleton of the larynx is made up of the hyoid bone and several cartilages. The thyroid cartilage is made up of two laminae that fuse anteriorly for form the laryngeal prominence (Adam's apple). The angle that they make is usually more acute in males and therefore, is more prominent. The inferior horns articulate with the sides of the cricoid cartilage and form the cricothyroid joint where the thyroid cartilage rocks back and forth at this point. The cricoid cartilage is the only complete cartilage of the larynx. Anteriorly is the cricoid arch. The arch expands as you trace it posteriorly where it forms a square-shaped lamina. The arytenoid cartilages sit on top of the cricoid lamina, posteriorly and articulate there at the cricoarytenoid joints. The arytenoid cartilages slide medially and laterally, anteriorly and posteriorly and rotate at these joints. The cartilage is pyramidal in shape with the base being triangular in shape with 3 processes. The vocal process extends anteriorly, the muscular process lies laterally and third process is not well defined. The vocal ligament (cord) extends from the vocal process to the back side of the thyroid cartilage. You can appreciate that any movement of the arytenoid cartilage will have an effect on the placement of the vocal cords (making them loose or taut, bring them together or spreading them apart). The epiglottis is attached inferiorly to the thyroid cartilage by a small stem. Its lateral and superior borders are free. The superior border can be seen through the oral cavity. Various parts of the larynx area closed by connective tissue membranes. The thyrohyoid membrane was seen in the study of the neck and is pierced by the internal laryngeal nerve and superior laryngeal artery. It extends from the upper border of the thyroid cartilage to the greater wing of the hyoid bone. The quadrangular membrane is free at the top and bottom but attached posteriorly to the arytenoid cartilage and anteriorly to the side of the epiglottis. The lower free margin forms the false vocal cord (or vestibular fold). The cricothyroid membrane (or conus elasticus) extends from the upper margin of the cricoid cartilage to attach to the back of the thyroid cartilage anteriorly and the arytenoid cartilage posteriorly. Its upper free margin is the vocal ligament (true vocal cord). Joints of the Larynx
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This note was uploaded on 11/29/2011 for the course RWR fref taught by Professor Erf during the Spring '11 term at Audencia Nantes Ecole de Management.

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Anatomy 43-50 - 43. Cartilages, ligaments, membranes &...

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