Vocal Cord Muscles & Nerves

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Vocal Cord Muscles & Nerves

    • Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve
      • Innervates all of the intrinsic muscles of the larynx except the cricothyroid
      • cricothyroid is innervated by the external laryngeal branch of the superior laryngeal branch of the vagus nerve.
      • Supplies sensory innervation below the vocal cord.
      • Has a terminal portion above the lower border of the cricoid cartilage called the inferior laryngeal nerve.
      • Lesion of the recurrent laryngeal nerve
        • could be produced
          • during thyroidectomy or cricothyrotomy
          • by aortic aneurysm
        • may cause
          • respiratoryobstruction
          • hoarseness
          • inability to speak
          • loss of sensation below the vocal cord.
      • Superior Laryngeal Nerve
          • Is a branch of the vagus nerve
          • divides into the internal and external laryngeal branches.
            • Internal Laryngeal Nerve
              • Innervates
                • mucous membrane above the vocal cord
                • taste buds on the epiglottis.
              • Is accompanied by the superior laryngeal artery
              • pierces the thyrohyoid membrane.
              • Lesion of the internal laryngeal nerve results in
                • loss of sensation above the vocal cord
                • loss of taste on the epiglottis.
            • External Laryngeal Nerve
              • Innervates the
                • Cricothyroid
                • inferior pharyngeal constrictor (cricopharyngeus part) muscles.
              • Is accompanied by the superior thyroid artery.
              • Lesion of the external laryngeal nerve
                  • may occur during thyroidectomy because the nerve accompanies the superior thyroid artery
                  • It causes paralysis of the cricothyroid muscle, resulting in
                    • paralysis of the laryngeal muscles
                    • inability to lengthen the vocal cord
                    • loss of the tension of the vocal cord.
                  • Such stresses to the vocal cord cause a fatigued voice and a weak hoarseness.


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