Hyoid bone

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


The hyoid bone (Lingual Bone) is a bone in the human neck, and is the only bone in the skeleton not articulated to any other bone. It is supported by the muscles of the neck and in turn supports the root of the tongue.

The hyoid bone is shaped like a horseshoe, and is suspended from the tips of the styloid processes of the temporal bones by the stylohyoid ligaments.


It consists of five segments:


The hyoid is ossified from six centers: two for the body, and one for each cornu. Ossification commences in the greater cornua toward the end of fetal life, in the body shortly afterward, and in the lesser cornua during the first or second year after birth.

Muscle attachments

The following muscles attach to the hyoid:[1]


The hyoid bone is involved in the production of human speech. It allows a wider range of tongue and laryngeal movements by bracing these structures against each other. It is not present in any of our closest living relatives, but it did exist in virtually identical form in Neanderthal man. That suggests, along with other anthropological clues of communication, that the Neanderthal employed some form of spoken language.


Due to its position, the hyoid bone is not usually easy to fracture in most situations.

In cases of suspicious death, a fractured hyoid is a strong sign of strangulation.


Its name is derived from the Greek word hyoeides meaning "shaped like the letter upsilon" (υ).

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bg:Подезична кост de:Zungenbein eo:Hioido lt:Poliežuvinis kaulas nl:Tongbeen sk:Jazylka sl:Podjezičnica fi:Kieliluu sv:Tungben ta:தொண்டை எலும்பு uk:Під'язикова кістка

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