What Is Fractured Larynx?
Fractured Larynx is a medical condition in which there is a fracture of the voice box. This condition usually arises due to high impact automobile accidents or a direct trauma to the throat during sporting activities like boxing or wrestling. In children, this may be caused due to a fall. The damage varies from mild vocal cord weakness to fractures of the cartilaginous structures of the voice box. Fractured Larynx can also cause air to enter into the neck or chest causing significant respiratory problems.
Classification Of Fractured Larynx?
Fractured Larynx Can Be Classified Into Four Types:
- Group I: This includes mild injuries with very little respiratory distress
- Group II: This group includes moderate injuries with moderate degree of respiratory distress
- Groups III and IV: This group includes more serious forms of fracture which can cause significant respiratory problems along with excessive swelling, mucosal tears etc
What Are The Symptoms Of Fractured Larynx?
Some of the symptoms of a Fractured Larynx are:
- Difficulty making sounds or speaking fluently
- Hoarseness of voice
- Presence of stridor
- Respiratory problems
- Neck pain with coughing or swallowing food
- Bruising in the neck
- Neck swelling.
How Is Fractured Larynx Diagnosed?
In case there is a direct trauma to the throat and the physician suspects a Fractured Larynx, then the physician will first assess the degree of respiratory distress the individual has. The physician will then examine the neck and look for crackling or popping sounds with palpation of the neck. In case there is hoarseness of voice, then the vocal cords may be visualized using a laryngoscope. A CT scan will then be done to confirm the diagnosis of Fractured Larynx.
What Are Treatments For Fractured Larynx?
If Fractured Larynx is suspected, then immediate treatment is advised as lack of treatment may make the condition serious. The treatment of Fractured Larynx depends on the class of the injury.
- Class I injuries are basically treated with simple observation and bedrest keeping the head of the bed elevated and breathing humidified air. For a short period of time, the physician may advise that the individual not speak in order to calm down the inflammation.
- Class II injuries are treated via tracheostomy and a direct laryngoscopy visualizing the larynx and repairing any damaged structures.
- Class III and IV injuries require surgical treatment along with stent placement to keep the larynx and the trachea open.