Arytenoid dislocation: An Analysis of the contemporary literature

Authors

  • Byron K. Norris MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Otolaryngology and Communicative Sciences, University of Mississippi, Jackson, Mississippi, U.S.A
    • Resident, Department of Otolaryngology and Communicative Sciences, University of Mississippi, 2500 North State Street, Jackson, Mississippi 39216
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  • John M. Schweinfurth MD

    1. Department of Otolaryngology and Communicative Sciences, University of Mississippi, Jackson, Mississippi, U.S.A
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  • The authors have no financial disclosures, conflicts of interest, grants, or technical support to report.

Abstract

Objectives/Hypothesis:

To discuss the incidence, diagnosis, laryngeal findings, and management of arytenoid dislocation as a separate entity from vocal fold paralysis.

Study Design:

Literature review.

Methods:

A contemporary review of the literature was performed by searching the terms arytenoid cartilage dislocation and subluxation in various combinations. Articles were analyzed and selected based on relevance and content.

Results:

Arytenoid dislocation is described as an uncommon laryngeal finding associated with intubation or blunt laryngeal trauma. The majority of recent publications are case reports or small case series. Diagnosis of arytenoid dislocation with flexible laryngoscopy, helical computed tomography, videostroboscopy, and laryngeal electromyography is recommended. In most reported cases, diagnosis has been made based on the position of the arytenoid at laryngoscopy. Reduction and repositioning of the arytenoid cartilage is reported with limited success noted with delayed diagnosis. Speech therapy may also be a beneficial treatment option.

Conclusions:

Although arytenoid dislocation is reported in the literature, the body of available evidence fails to sufficiently differentiate it as a separate entity from unilateral vocal fold paralysis. Flexible laryngoscopy is inadequate as a standalone procedure to distinguish arytenoid dislocation from laryngeal nerve injury. Laryngoscope, 2011

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