1.3.2 Cartilage skeleton of the larynx

Illustration 7. Ligaments and cartilages of the larynx (side view) Illustration 8. Ligaments and cartilages of the larynx (front view)

Cartilaginous skeleton of the larynx (Illustration 1) consists of three impaired cartilages (cricoid, thyroid, and epiglottic) and of three paired cartilages (pyramidal apex, cuneate vocal processes, arytenoid). All of these, combined by ligaments and muscles, define a cylindrical shape of the organ, characteristic to all airways.

Larynx is framed with a hyoid bone on its top, which resembles a horseshoe. Free vertical movement of the larynx depends on the position of the tongue and the lower jaw. Being attached but movable, the larynx is suspended from its one side to the lower jaw, and from the other to the muscles of the upper chest and shoulder blade.

Illustration 7. Ligaments and cartilages of the larynx (side view)

  1. epiglottic cartilage;
  2. thyrohyoid ligament;
  3. triticeum;
  4. hyoepiglottic ligament;
  5. median thyrohyoid ligament;
  6. thyroid cartilage;
  7. guttural boss (Adam's apple);
  8. cricothyroid ligament;
  9. cricoid cartilage;
  10. cricoid ligament;
  11. arched tracheal cartilage;
  12. annular ligaments of the trachea.

Illustration 8. Ligaments and cartilages of the larynx (front view)

  1. thyrohyoid ligament;
  2. triticeum;
  3. the median thyrohyoid ligament;
  4. thyrohyoid membrane;
  5. thyroid cartilage;
  6. cricothyroid ligament;
  7. cricoid cartilage;
  8. cricotracheal ligament;
  9. annular ligaments of the trachea;
  10. arched tracheal cartilage.
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