Optimal Arytenoid Position in Laryngeal Framework Surgery: An Anatomic Human Larynx Study

Elizabeth S. Burckardt, Gerardo Lopez-Guerra, James B. Kobler, Monica A. Tynan, Robert H. Petrillo, Jarrad H. Van Stan, James A. Burns*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to better understand the effects of stitch placement on arytenoid medialization by measuring normative cricoarytenoid joint anatomy and changes in arytenoid position when varying arytenopexy stitch configuration. Methods: This adult human larynx study was done in two parts. First, measurements of the cricoid and arytenoid cartilage anatomy relevant to cricoarytenoid joint function were made in 45 preserved larynges (26 male (M), 19 female (F)) using digital calipers. Second, the arytenoids of six fresh larynges (three M, three F) were sutured to the cricoid using various arytenopexy-stitch placements ranging from inferior-lateral to superior-medial, and the resulting arytenoid positions were compared by measuring medial displacement of the arytenoid body and change in glottal configuration from macro still images using Image J. Paired t-tests were used to compare the results. Results: Cartilage and joint facet dimensions showed differences between males (M) and females (F). Cricoid facet lengths averaged 9.3 mm (M) and 7.1 mm (F), and widths averaged 4.9 mm (M) and 4.0 mm (F). The arytenoid facet widths averaged 10.5 mm (M) and 9.7 mm (F). Average distances between cricoid facets were 11.8 mm for both males and females. Securing the arytenoid superior-medially on the cricoid facet produced more medialization (2.2 mm vs 1.0 mm, P <.001) and better glottic aperture configuration (9.5° vs 2.7°, P <.001) than securing the arytenoid inferior-laterally on the facet. Conclusions: Anatomic consistency in cricoarytenoid anatomy provides reliable surgical landmarks for ideal placement of an arytenopexy suture to optimally reposition the arytenoid cartilage. Optimal arytenoid medialization can be accurately reproduced with an arytenopexy-suture that is placed superior-medially on the cricoid facet. Level of Evidence: NA Laryngoscope, 131:2540–2544, 2021.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2540-2544
Number of pages5
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • arytenoid cartilage
  • arytenoid medialization
  • Arytenopexy
  • cricoid cartilage
  • laryngeal framework surgery
  • larynx
  • vocal fold paralysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


Dive into the research topics of 'Optimal Arytenoid Position in Laryngeal Framework Surgery: An Anatomic Human Larynx Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this