One of the most controversial and least understood articulations in the entire body is the cricoarytenoid joint of the larynx. Classical descriptions of motion occurring at the joint include gliding, sliding, tilting, rocking, and horizontal rotation about a fixed point.1-3 Many of the current otolaryngologic textbooks refer to motion about a vertical axis, but a brief review of the anatomy will reveal that such motion does not occur.
Anatomy of the Cricoarytenoid Joint
Each of the 2 pyramidal shaped arytenoid cartilages has a base, an apex, and 3 lateral surfaces. The smooth, concave posterior surface gives attachment to the arytenoideus obliquus and transversus muscles. The rough anterolateral surface is distinguished by the colliculus at the apex and 2 depressions, the fovea oblongata and the fovea triangularis which provide attachment for the vocales muscle.4 The medial surface is smooth and covered by mucous membrane. The articulating facet of the
FRABLE MA. Computation of Motion at the Cricoarytenoid Joint. Arch Otolaryngol. 1961;73(5):551–556. doi:10.1001/archotol.1961.00740020563009
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