The method of palpating the thyroid lobes presented here was developed by me and is based on the following facts:
The thyroid gland is fixed only at one point, its attachment to the trachea at its isthmus. Its lateral lobes are freely movable, so much so that when lifted from their beds by the finger inserted behind them,1 they may be almost completely inverted. In this position, as I have many times demonstrated, the only fixed attachment of the gland is at the isthmus, the two lateral lobes hanging free as thick wings of thyroid tissue.
The usual anterior palpation of the thyroid gives information only as to its anterior surface, and when the lateral lobes are small, one may not be able to palpate them at all, as they sink back into their pockets beside the trachea and esophagus. The usual methods of palpation give little information as
LAHEY FH. A METHOD OF PALPATING THE LOBES OF THE THYROID. JAMA. 1926;86(12):813–814. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02670380003002