Management of hyoid bone fractures: a systematic review.

Ramchand T, Choudhry OJ, Shukla PA, Tomovic S, Kuperan AB, Eloy JA.

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2012 Aug;147(2):204-8. Epub 2012 Jun 12.


Objective Fractures of the hyoid bone are rare occurrences. They are mainly caused by strangulation/asphyxiation injuries, trauma to the neck, and motor vehicle accidents (MVAs). As a result of their rarity, proper treatment guidelines are not in place for dealing with these injuries. In this study, a systematic literature review was conducted with the goal of identifying optimal management for patients with fracture of the hyoid bone. Data Sources MEDLINE and PubMed databases. Review Methods The MEDLINE and PubMed databases were searched for patients diagnosed with hyoid bone fracture. Further cases were obtained from the bibliographies of relevant articles. Full-text articles were obtained. Patient presentation, method of diagnosis, treatment regimen, and outcomes are discussed. Results Forty-six cases were collected from 36 articles. No randomized controlled trials regarding treatment of hyoid fractures were found. The most common etiologies were MVA, assault, and neck trauma during athletic activities. Most common presenting symptoms included dysphagia, odynophagia, and pain upon neck rotation. Most frequent presenting signs included anterior neck tenderness and swelling. Five cases out of 46 had surgical repair of the fractured hyoid bone. In the remaining 41 cases, 26 were treated with conservative management, which included rest/observation, diet changes, and analgesia, while the other 15 cases required tracheotomy or surgical treatment for related injuries. All patients survived and had excellent outcomes with resolution of symptoms. Conclusion This review shows that direct surgical treatment of hyoid fractures was performed in only 10.9% of cases. Both conservative and surgical management yielded positive outcomes.


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