Laryngeal injuries are seen with increased frequency as a direct result of the ever-increasing number of automobile accidents. Unfortunately, trauma to the larynx is too often overlooked at the time of injury. This is especially true when the injury has been of the closed crushing type. Once an emergency tracheotomy has been done to correct the upper-airway obstruction, attention is usually directed to other more-apparent injuries about the head and neck. Only when the problem of decannulation presents itself, several weeks later, is the cause of the upper-airway obstruction investigated more carefully. Any delay in the recognition and early repair of laryngeal injuries will usually result in the development of a chronic stenosis.
Symptoms of laryngeal injuries vary with the extent of the trauma. Pain and tenderness over the laryngeal cartilages suggest a fracture, which may or may not be palpated, depending on the swelling of overlying soft tissues. Cervical