What Are Symptoms of a Hyoid Bone Fracture?

According to an article in the official journal for the American Academy of Otolaryngology, hyoid bone fractures usually cause symptoms such as difficulty swallowing and pain upon head rotation. Additionally, many patients complain of tenderness in the front of the neck. Such injuries are very rare and usually arise from motor vehicle accidents, strangulation or athletic endeavors.

An article in the “Journal of Surgical Case Reports” states that hyoid fractures are most commonly encountered in postmortem examinations. Hyoid bone fractures are present in between 17 and 76 percent of all victims of strangulation or hanging. The age of the patient sometimes influences whether or not the hyoid bone is fractured. In one study detailed in the case report, every patient over 50 years of age experienced a broken hyoid. By contrast, only 50 percent of the patients under age 50 suffered a fractured hyoid following neck injury.

The “Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association” details a case of a 13-year-old tae kwon do participant who collapsed after receiving a kick to the anterior neck. Upon regaining consciousness, the athlete reported pain and difficulty swallowing. His doctors prescribed analgesics to reduce the pain and told him to rest until it healed. Approximately four weeks later, the athlete returned to the sport.