Anatomic Considerations for a Posterior Endoscopic Approach to the Cricoarytenoid Joint

Michael Z. Lerner, Sherry A. Downie, Melin Tan-Geller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This anatomic study considers the feasibility of a posterior endoscopic approach to the cricoarytenoid joint (CAJ) by describing relationships between readily identifiable anatomic landmarks and the posterior CAJ space in cadaver larynges. Study Design: Anatomic study. Methods: Six adult cadaver larynges (2 male, 4 female) were studied. Digital calipers were used for measurements, and Image J software was used for angle calculations. All cricoarytenoid joints were injected with colored gel via a posterior approach using a 27-gauge needle. Results: The average age of the larynges studied was 78.7 ± 10 years. The average posterior CAJ space (pCAJs) length measured 4.95 ± 0.9 mm. The average distance from the superior aspect of the midline cricoid lamina (MCL) to the center of pCAJs and the corniculate cartilage (CC) to the center of the pCAJs were 8.35 ± 1.5 mm and 14.54 ± 1.9 mm, respectively. The average pCAJs angle of declination (AD) from the horizontal plane was 54° ± 6.2°. All 12 cricoarytenoid joints were successfully injected with colored gel via a posterior approach. Conclusions: The posterior CAJ space can be located surgically using readily identifiable anatomic landmarks. An understanding of this posterior CAJ anatomy may allow for more consistent intra-articular injection and support the development of other CAJ procedures for a range of disorders of vocal fold motion or malposition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)420-425
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2019


  • cricoarytenoid joint (CAJ)
  • cricoarytenoid joint fixation
  • intra-articular injection
  • laryngeal anatomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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