• Vocal cord immobility fishbone;
  • hypopharynx;
  • cricoarytenoid joint


Vocal cord immobility is a rare presentation of an impacted fishbone in the pharynx. The mechanisms can be classified into either mechanical articular fixation or direct/indirect neuropathy of the recurrent laryngeal nerve. We report a case of vocal cord immobility secondary to long-standing impaction of a fishbone in the hypopharynx for at least 9 months. The diagnosis was made by computed tomography (CT) and rigid laryngoscopy because no reliable history was available. The cricoarytenoid joint was not fixed and the function of the vocal cords returned one month after removal of the fishbone. The mechanism of the vocal cord immobility was an injury to the recurrent laryngeal nerve due to the chronic inflammatory reaction in the paraglottic space. Laryngoscope, 119:228–230, 2009