Lateral Cricoarytenoid

Lateral Cricoarytenoid

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The Lateral Cricoarytenoid Muscle

The lateral cricoarytenoid is an intrinsic muscle of the larynx. This muscle plays a vital role in creating the tight connection between the vocal folds, allowing manipulation of the tone and volume of speech. In order to achieve this, the lateral cricoarytenoid muscle must originate from the arch of the cricoid cartilage and attach to the muscular process of the arytenoid cartilage.

The action of the lateral cricoarytenoid muscle is adduction of the vocal folds, and it is innervated by the inferior laryngeal nerve, which is a branch of the recurrent laryngeal nerve. The blood supply to the lateral cricoarytenoid muscle is provided by the laryngeal branches of the superior and inferior thyroid arteries.

It is important to understand the role of the lateral cricoarytenoid muscle because it is a critical part of the larynx, and is involved in many vocal activities. Together, the vocal folds serve to create vibratory waves that result in sound production. Therefore, any disruption to the function of the lateral cricoarytenoid muscle can lead to serious disturbances in speech.

One of the most common issues associated with the lateral cricoarytenoid muscle is vocal fold paralysis. This occurs when the muscle fails to move when it should, leading to an inability to produce sound. Vocal fold paralysis may be caused by a variety of factors including trauma to the larynx, neurological diseases, or certain types of surgical procedures.

In order to diagnose vocal fold paralysis, special vocal imaging techniques such as videolaryngoscopy or flexible laryngoscopy can be used. Depending on the findings, treatment strategies may range from conservative approaches such as speech therapy or vocal rehab to more aggressive treatments such as injection laryngoplasty or vocal fold medialization.

The lateral cricoarytenoid muscle is a complex and important structure in the larynx. Without its presence, the ability to produce sound is impossible. Thus, it is important to be aware of possible issues that can affect its function, and take the necessary steps to maintain its health.

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