Larynx

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The larynx (plural larynges), commonly called the voice box, is an organ in the neck of mammals involved in protecting the trachea and sound production. It manipulates pitch and volume. The larynx houses the vocal folds, which are an essential component of phonation. The vocal folds are situated just below where the tract of the pharynx splits into the trachea and the esophagus.

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Anatomical position and description

In adult humans, the larynx is found in the anterior neck at the level of the C3–C6 vertebrae. It connects the inferior part of the pharynx (hypopharynx) with the trachea. The laryngeal skeleton consists of nine cartilages: three single (thyroid, cricoid, and epiglottic) and three paired (arytenoid, corniculate, and cuneiform). The hyoid bone is not part of the larynx, though it is connected to it. The larynx extends vertically from the tip of the epiglottis to the inferior border of the cricoid cartilage. The intristic and extrinsic muscles and paired and unpaired cartilages are listed and described below.

In newborn infants, the larynx is initially at the level of the C2–C3 vertebrae, and is further forward and higher relative to its position in the adult body.[1] The larynx descends as the child grows.[2][3]

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