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Hyoid Bone Anatomy

Introduction to Hyoid bone anatomy

  • image descriptionThe hyoid bone (Gr. hyoeides, U-shaped) is a small, U-shaped bone that is located between the mandible and larynx and anterior to the third cervical vertebra.
  • It does not directly articulate with any other bones. Instead, the hyoid bone is loosely held in place by several ligaments and muscles that attach to the skull, mandible, tongue, larynx, and scapula.
  • Many of the small muscles that attach to the hyoid bone help control the actions of the tongue, pharynx, larynx, and mandible.

Markings:

  1. image descriptionBody – a four-sided structure that forms the central portion of the hyoid bone.  It serves as an attachment point for several muscles that move the tongue, pharynx, mandible, and larynx, such during the swallowing process.
Hyoid bone anterior view
Body of hyoid bone anterior view
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  1. image descriptionGreater cornu (L., horn; pl. cornua) – posterior extension from the side of the body.  It serves as an attachment point for ligaments and muscles that suspend the hyoid bone. Also attached are muscles that that move the tongue, pharynx, and larynx during the swallowing process.
Hyoid bone anterior view
Greater cornu of hyoid bone anterior view
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  1. image descriptionLesser cornu – a small, superior projection from the junction of the body and greater cornu.  The tip of the lesser cornu serves as an attachment point for the stylohyoid ligament that helps suspend the hyoid bone from the base of the skull (= styloid process of the temporal bone).
Hyoid bone anterior view
Lesser cornu of hyoid bone
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Hyoid bone anterior view - Test yourself
Hyoid bone anterior view - Test yourself - Answers
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