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May 1968

Cricoid Fracture With Tracheal Avulsion

Author Affiliations

Hillside, NJ

Arch Otolaryngol. 1968;87(5):461-467. doi:10.1001/archotol.1968.00760060463003

CRICOID FRACTURE with complete avulsion of the trachea is usually fatal. In closed, nonpenetrating injuries, it is difficult to imagine large numbers of survivors. Observations regarding the problems associated with the management of such a case are herein presented.

As the trachea is an elastic structure, it should not be subject to great stress from purely stretch injuries. Tracheal ruptures have been reported from a blow on the chest during a period of glottic closure, such ruptures being the result of marked increase in intratracheal pressure, probably occurring with the trachea under stretch due to extension of the head.1 Such a force may also produce recurrent laryngeal nerve injury. Cricoid fractures are usually incurred in a head extended position due to direct force of considerable magnitude. Tracheal retraction occurs with avulsion due to the elasticity of the intercartilaginous ligaments.2

Such an injury allows no time for extended diagnostic

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