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Larynx Fracture

Larynx Fracture is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

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  • Direct transfer of severe forces to the larynx
  • Simple mucosal tears to fractured and comminuted cartilage:
    • Epiglottis, thyroid, arytenoid, cricoid, corniculate, and cuneiform cartilages


  • Rare: 1/5,000–1/42,000 ED visits
  • <1% of all blunt trauma
  • Directly related mortality is 2–15%
  • Blunt or penetrating trauma to the anterior neck associated with motor vehicle or motorcycle crash, assault, or recreational activities.
  • Typical mechanism is hyperextension of neck with a direct blow to the exposed anterior neck.
  • “Clothesline” injury is a classic mechanism (victim struck in neck by cord, wire, or branch hung across path of travel).
  • Iatrogenic injuries from intubation are becoming more common with an aging population.

Pediatric Considerations
Bicycle handlebars:
  • Extended neck hits the bar, compressing structures between the bar and vertebral column.

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Rosen, Peter, et al., editors. "Larynx Fracture." 5-Minute Emergency Consult, 5th ed., Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2016. Emergency Central, emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307372/all/Larynx_Fracture.
Larynx Fracture. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, et al, eds. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. 5th ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307372/all/Larynx_Fracture. Accessed April 23, 2019.
Larynx Fracture. (2016). In Rosen, P., Shayne, P., Barkin, A. Z., Wolfe, R. E., Hayden, S. R., Barkin, R. M., & Schaider, J. J. (Eds.), 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Available from https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307372/all/Larynx_Fracture
Larynx Fracture [Internet]. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, Wolfe RE, Hayden SR, Barkin RM, Schaider JJ, editors. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. [cited 2019 April 23]. Available from: https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307372/all/Larynx_Fracture.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Larynx Fracture ID - 307372 ED - Rosen,Peter, ED - Shayne,Philip, ED - Barkin,Adam Z, ED - Wolfe,Richard E, ED - Hayden,Stephen R, ED - Barkin,Roger M, ED - Schaider,Jeffrey J, BT - 5-Minute Emergency Consult UR - https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307372/all/Larynx_Fracture PB - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins ET - 5 DB - Emergency Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -