African Journal of Respiratory Medicine
The Hyoid Bone: A Remarkable Anatomical Enigma

Commentary - (2023) Volume 18, Issue 5

Famg Larb*
*Correspondence: Famg Larb, Department of Biology, Yale University, USA, Email:

Received: 02-Oct-2023, Manuscript No. ajrm-24-130512 ; Editor assigned: 04-Oct-2023, Pre QC No. ajrm-24-130512 (PQ); Reviewed: 18-Oct-2023, QC No. ajrm-24-130512 ; Revised: 23-Oct-2023, Manuscript No. ajrm-24-130512 (R); Published: 30-Oct-2023, DOI: 10.54931/1747-5597.23.18.102

Department of Biology, Yale University, USA


The hyoid bone, often described as the “floating bone” of the human body, is a unique and intriguing anatomical structure that holds a significant place in the study of human anatomy and physiology. Despite its small size and inconspicuous location, the hyoid bone plays essential roles in speech production, swallowing, and supporting the intricate network of muscles, ligaments, and nerves in the neck. Let’s explore the anatomy, function, and clinical relevance of this fascinating bone. The hyoid bone is a horseshoe-shaped bone located in the anterior midline of the neck, between the chin and the thyroid cartilage (Adam’s apple). It is the only bone in the human body that does not articulate directly with any other bone; instead, it is suspended in place by a complex arrangement of muscles and ligaments. The hyoid bone consists of a body and two pairs of projections or processes: The greater horns (cornua) and the lesser horns. The greater horns extend laterally from the body of the hyoid bone and serve as attachment sites for muscles of the tongue, throat, and larynx. The lesser horns are smaller and project superiorly from the body, providing additional points of attachment for muscles and ligaments. Despite its seemingly humble appearance, the hyoid bone performs several crucial functions: The hyoid bone acts as a stable anchor for the muscles of the tongue and larynx, enabling precise movements necessary for speech production and phonation. It plays a pivotal role in modulating the pitch, resonance, and articulation of vocal sounds. During the swallowing process, the hyoid bone moves upward and forward, along with the larynx, to elevate and stabilize the pharynx. This movement helps facilitate the sequential contraction of muscles in the throat, ensuring the smooth passage of food and liquids from the mouth to the esophagus. Numerous muscles, including those involved in tongue movement, swallowing, and neck extension, attach to the hyoid bone. These muscles work together to coordinate complex movements required for various physiological processes, such as breathing, chewing, and speaking. While the hyoid bone is relatively resilient, it can be affected by certain medical conditions or injuries, leading to clinical manifestations such as: Traumatic injuries, such as direct blows to the neck or strangulation, can result in fractures of the hyoid bone. Hyoid fractures are often associated with cases of suspected strangulation or homicidal violence and may be evaluated during forensic investigations. Dysfunction or impairment of the muscles and structures surrounding the hyoid bone can contribute to swallowing difficulties (dysphagia), a common symptom of various medical conditions, including neurological disorders, head and neck cancer, and structural abnormalities. The hyoid bone may be involved in surgical procedures aimed at treating conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea, head and neck cancer, and airway obstruction. Surgical techniques may include hyoid suspension, hyoid advancement, or hyoid myotomy to improve airway patency and reduce symptoms. The hyoid bone may be small and often overlooked, but its significance in human anatomy and physiology cannot be overstated. As a pivotal structure in speech production, swallowing, and musculoskeletal support, the hyoid bone exemplifies the intricate interplay between form and function in the human body. By understanding the anatomy, function, and clinical relevance of the hyoid bone, healthcare professionals can better appreciate its role in maintaining optimal oral, pharyngeal, and laryngeal function, ultimately contributing to improved patient care and outcomes.


The Authors are very thankful and honoured to publish this article in the respective Journal and are also very great full to the reviewers for their positive response to this article publication.

Conflict Of Interest

We have no conflict of interests to disclose and the manuscript has been read and approved by all named authors.

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