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January 1965

Problem of Closed Laryngeal Injury

Author Affiliations

Otolaryngology Service, Walter Reed General Hospital, WRAMC, Washington, DC.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1965;81(1):91-96. doi:10.1001/archotol.1965.00750050096021

The management of closed laryngeal injuries presents a complex problem, one which requires the diligence and resourcefulness of the laryngeal surgeon. Frequently the injuries to the larynx are obscured or overlooked by other more apparent injuries of the head and neck. In these instances a tracheotomy has corrected the upper airway obstruction, and attention is not usually directed to the larynx until several weeks later when the problem of decannulating the patient presents itself. Early, careful evaluation and institution of immediate definitive treatment will usually prevent the late sequelae of laryngeal stenosis.

Fortunately laryngeal injuries are not common, and this is due in part to the protection offered by surrounding structures. The mandible and sternum guard the larynx anteriorly, while the cervical vertebrae lie posteriorly. In addition, the mobility of the larynx, as well as the resiliency of the cartilages and adjacent soft tissues, help to lessen the force and