Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!

The hyoid bone is a small bone, which at the same time performs many important functions, which is located within the neck, but still belongs to the facial skeleton. Important muscles and ligaments attach to her, and her injuries are most often the result of… crimes. What is the structure of the hyoid bone and what are its functions?

The hyoid bone(called hyoid bone) is a small, odd bone that belongs to the group of facial bones. Just as few people outside the medical industry know about its existence at all, this bone at the same time performs important functions and is unique for some reasons. The hyoid bone is distinguished primarily by the fact that it has no direct connection to any other bone. It can be palpated - the hyoid bone is located between the lower edge of the mandible and the front surface of the neck, at the level of the third cervical vertebra (C3).

Hyoid bone: structure

The shape of the hyoid bone resembles the letter "u" or a horseshoe - its original name, hyoeides, is derived from its shape, which in Greek means "with a shape resembling the letter ipsylon". Generally, there are three parts, which are:

  • shaft,
  • bigger horns
  • and smaller corners.

The shaft of the hyoid bone can be compared to the lamina, which is convex in the front part and concave in the back part. The front surface is distinguished from the back surface not only by its shape: the front surface of the hyoid bone shaft is rough, while the rear surface is smooth.

The greater horns of the hyoid bone begin at the lateral ends of the hyoid shaft and point posteriorly. Characteristic for them is that their ends are slightly thickened. They are connected with the body of the hyoid bone through cartilage hyperplasia.

The smaller horns of the hyoid bone are located at the point where they depart from the body of the larger horns. They have the form of small, conical protrusions, which are connected with the hyoid bone via a ligament.

Hyoid bone: development

The hyoid bone develops from the second and third pairs of gill arches. Its horns are larger from the third pair, the horns smaller than the second pair, and the shaft from the part that connects the two above-mentioned pairs of gill arches.

hyoid bone: functions

People talk about the hyoid bone rathernot much, but it has decisively important functions. It is an attachment site for important muscles and ligaments. It is through these connections and the location of the hyoid bone that is important in the movements of the tongue and the larynx.

hyoid bone: muscle

There are two groups of muscles associated with the hyoid bone:

  • suprarenal muscles
  • and gullets.

The suprahyoid muscles include:

  • hyoid stylus muscle (attached to the body and horns of the greater hyoid bone),
  • the hyoid-mandibular muscle (having an attachment on the shaft of the hyoid bone),
  • the hyoid muscle (which is attached to the body of the hyoid bone).

The group of subglass muscles that attach to some part of the hyoid bone include:

  • sternohyoid muscle (its terminal attachment is the shaft of the hyoid bone),
  • scapulo-hyoid muscle (attaching to the shaft of the hyoid bone),
  • thyroid-hyoid muscle (its attachment is the body and greater horns of the hyoid bone).

Other muscles attached to the hyoid bone include:

  • middle pharyngeal sphincter muscle,
  • hyoid lingual muscle,
  • chin-lingual muscle
  • and the internal muscles of the tongue.

hyoid bone: ligaments

The hyoid bone is related not only to muscles, but also ligaments. Here we should mention:

  • styloid ligament (extending from the styloid process of the temporal bone to the corners of the smaller hyoid bone),
  • the thyroid-hyoid membrane (which attaches to the posterior surface of the shaft and to the horns of the greater hyoid bone),
  • the hyoid-epiglottic ligament (connecting the hyoid bone with the front of the epiglottis).

Hyoid bone: fractures

Due to its location, the hyoid bone is definitely rarely fractured. However, it happens that they occur due to some serious injuries (e.g. related to the experience of a traffic accident) - in such situations, damage to the hyoid bone may result in speech problems, shortness of breath and pain when swallowing.

It is worth mentioning here that the fracture of the hyoid bone is characteristic of one type of crime. We are talking about killings by asphyxiation, where damage can be caused, among others, to just the hyoid bone.

  • Zygomatic bone - structure, functions, fractures
  • Sphenoid bone - structure, functions
  • Head injuries. When is a blow to the head dangerous?

Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!