The posterior view of the larynx with the covering mucosa is shown. The small corniculate cartilages lie at the posterior termination of the aryepiglottic folds. During swallowing, the larynx is elevated behind the base of the tongue forcing the flexible epiglottis to fold back and protect the upper airway. Transverse and oblique arytenoid muscles constrict the narrow waist beneath the arytenoids, further closing the airway.
The thyroid cartilage is attached to the hyoid bone by the thyrohyoid membrane. The extrinsic musculature of the larynx consists of the strap muscles and omohyoid below and several muscles attaching to the jaw and skull base below. The hyoid is the focal point for attachment of most of these muscles, which move the larynx up and down. The straps are innervated by the ansa hypoglossi with fibers from C-1-3, and the suprahyoid muscles are innervated by the glossopharyngeal, pharyngeal plexus and C-1.
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