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Larynx Fracture, Emergency Medicine

David Della- Giustina and Katja Goldflam Reviewed 06/2017



  • Direct transfer of severe forces to the larynx

  • Simple mucosal tears to fractured and comminuted cartilage:

    • Epiglottis, thyroid, arytenoid, cricoid, corniculate, and cuneiform cartilage...


Signs and Symptoms

  • May be delayed for hours

  • Blunt trauma recognition is most challenging

  • Blood, cervical collar, or polytrauma may distract from subtle findings

  • Neck tenderness

  • Bruising or abrasi...



  • Cautions:

    • Aggressive airway management may be necessary: Oxygen, suctioning

    • Cervical spine immobilization

    • Injury may be overlooked if patient is intubated pre-hospital for other inj...



Admission Criteria

  • Patients with true laryngeal injuries must be admitted to a monitored setting for observation and airway management; prepare for emergent surgical repair of lary...

Additional Reading

  • Bell  RB, Verschueren  DS, Dierks  EJ. Management of laryngeal trauma. Oral Maxillofac Surg Clin North Am.  2008;20(3):415–430.

  • Comer  BT, Gal  TJ. Recognition and management of...



  • 807.5 Closed fracture of larynx and trachea

  • 807.6 Open fracture of larynx and trachea


  • S12.8XXA Fracture of other parts of neck, initial encounter

  • S12.8XXD Fracture of other parts of neck, ...

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