Hyoid bone

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The hyoid bone is a bone in the throat that wraps around the trachea just above the Adam's apple. It allows a greater range of motion between the tongue, pharynx and larynx than would otherwise be possible.

The hyoid bone is the only bone in the body that does not articulate with another bone - the hyoid is suspended on muscles, ligaments and cartilage.

Muscle attachments

The hyoid bone has nine muscles attached to it. The digastric, middle pharyngeal constrictor, hyoglossus, geniohyoid, stylohyoid, and mylohyoid muscles attach to the hyoid from above, and from below, the thyrohyoid, omohyoid, and sternohyoid.

The hyoid bone.

Word origin

The hyoid gets its name from its shape, hyoeides, Greek for shaped like the letter upsilon (υ).

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