Philadelphia Ear, Nose and Throat Associates: PENTA

Laryngeal Trauma

 What are the hazards of laryngeal trauma?

The larynx can be injured easily during altercations and motor vehicle accidents.  Steering wheel injuries are particularly common.  Blunt anterior neck trauma may result in laryngeal fracture, dislocation of the arytenoid cartilages, hemorrhage and airway obstruction.  Late consequences such as narrowing of the airway may also occur.  Laryngeal injuries are frequently seen in association with other injuries such as scalp lacerations, and the laryngeal problem is often overlooked initially even though it may be the most serious or life-threatening injury.  Hoarseness or other changes in voice quality following neck trauma should call this possibility to mind.  Prompt evaluation by visualization and radiological imaging should occur.  In many cases, surgery is needed.