What is superior laryngeal nerve?

The superior laryngeal nerve is a branch of the vagus nerve. It arises from the middle of the inferior ganglion of vagus nerve and in its course receives a branch from the superior cervical ganglion of the sympathetic nervous system. The superior laryngeal nerve innervates the two cricothyroid muscles.

Is superior laryngeal nerve a branch of vagus?

The superior laryngeal branch of the vagus nerve originates from the 4th pharyngeal arch along with the cricothyroid muscle. This developmental pattern elucidates why the cricothyroid muscle is the only muscle that receives innervation via the superior laryngeal nerve.

What nerve travels with superior laryngeal artery?

This artery courses to the thyroid gland. The superior laryngeal artery branches from the superior thyroid artery. This artery pierces the thyrohyoid membrane with the internal laryngeal nerve and helps supply the larynx.

How can you tell if you have a superior laryngeal nerve?

In some cases, the EBSLN can be identified crossing some of the inferior constrictor and then diving under the muscle for a variable distance prior to its insertion in the cricothyroid muscle (type 2, Figure 2). Once this nerve is identified, no further dissection is usually needed.

What happens if superior laryngeal nerve is damaged?

When the external superior laryngeal nerve is damaged, it results in the paralysis of the cricothyroid muscle, which functions to lengthen, stiffen, and thin the true vocal cord.

What are the symptoms of laryngeal nerve damage?


  • A breathy quality to the voice.
  • Hoarseness.
  • Noisy breathing.
  • Loss of vocal pitch.
  • Choking or coughing while swallowing food, drink or saliva.
  • The need to take frequent breaths while speaking.
  • Inability to speak loudly.
  • Loss of your gag reflex.

What does the laryngeal nerve control?

Function. The recurrent laryngeal nerves control all intrinsic muscles of the larynx except for the cricothyroid muscle. These muscles act to open, close, and adjust the tension of the vocal cords, and include the posterior cricoarytenoid muscles, the only muscle to open the vocal cords.

What nerve is responsible for Laryngospasm?

Authorities define laryngospasm as as an uncontrolled or involuntary muscular contraction of the vocal cords and ligaments. The vagus nerve has actually proven a predominant cause of nervous mediation. The superior laryngeal and pharyngeal branch of C Nerve X (CN X) and the recurrent laryngeal compose the vagus nerve.

Where does the superior laryngeal nerve come from?

The superior laryngeal nerve arises from the inferior ganglion of the vagus. It descends lateral to the pharynx, at first posterior and then medial to the ICA. At the level of greater horn of hyoid, the superior laryngeal nerve divides into a smaller external laryngeal nerve and a larger internal laryngeal nerve.

How long does it take for laryngeal nerve to heal?

RLN injury usually presents postoperatively with voice changes and/or hoarseness. Symptomatic incidence varies between 2.3% and 24.2%, and most patients recover within 1 year.

How do you fix laryngeal nerve damage?

Treatment depends on the cause of the injury. In some cases, no treatment may be needed and the nerve may recover on its own. Voice therapy is useful in some cases. If surgery is needed, the goal is to change the position of the paralyzed vocal cord to improve the voice.