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Facts About the Hyoid Bone

The hyoid bone is a peculiar piece of anatomy. It's the only bone in the body that is not connected to any other bone except by muscles and ligaments. This horseshoe-shaped bone is situated in the anterior midline of the neck and floats freely between the chin and the thyroid cartilage.

The Hyoid Bone

Whenever you swallow your food, you can thank your hyoid bone. Without the hyoid bone you could not move one of the most important muscles in the human body - the tounge.

The Hyoid is segmented into three parts: the central part called the body and two pairs of cornua, the greater cornu and lesser cornu.

The hyoid is the anchor for all of the muscles that connect to floor of the mouth, the tounge, the larynx, the epiglottis and the pharynx.

The following muscles are attached to the hyoid:

  • Middle pharyngeal constrictor muscle
  • Hyoglossus muscle
  • Digastric muscle
  • Stylohyoid muscle
  • Geniohyoid muscle
  • Mylohyoid muscle
  • Thyrohyoid muscle
  • Omohyoid muscle
  • Sternohyoid
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A condition affecting the hyoid bone is hyoid bone syndrome. The symptoms of hyoid bone syndrom can include pain radiating from the greater cornu of the hyoid bone to the throat, mandible, mandibular teeth, zygomatic arch, condyle, face, ear, temple, neck, clavicle, upper half of breast, shoulder, arm, scapula and back. This hyoid bone syndrome article goes into greater detail.

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