Ligaments of the larynx and the adjacent pharynx and esophagus

James F. Bosma, Howard Bartner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Two ligament systems of the larynx are demonstrated by dissection. The suspensory ligament of the esophagus is attached to the posterior aspect of the cricoid cartilage and is also a part of the fascial sheath which is common to the hyoid, thyroid, and cricoid. The ligaments at the inner margins of the vocal, ventricular, and aryepiglottic folds are distinctive in site and, inferentially, in function. The aryepiglottic ligaments join at the incisura between the arytenoid cartilages and are continued as the corniculopharyngeal ligament which splays into the flexible tissues in the anterior wall of the hypopharynx, posterior to the suspensory ligament of the esophagus. These ligament systems are involved in two different actions in swallow. The gross superior and anterior motions of the larynx are transmitted to the esophagus by the suspensory ligament, so that the esophagus is elevated in relation to the bolus and is also opened. These esophageal displacements resemble, in effect, the swallow displacements of the pharyngoesophageal segment and of the constrictor wall of the hypopharynx. The marginal ligaments of the laryngeal folds help to implement the constriction and closure of the larynx during swallow. By anatomical inference, the corniculopharyngeal ligament effects vertical traction within the flexible tissues of the anterior wall of the hypopharynx.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-28
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Deglutition
  • Deglutition disorders
  • Esophagus
  • Larynx
  • Pharynx
  • Vertical traction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Speech and Hearing


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