Cricoid cartilage

Dr Owen Kang and Tom Spencer et al.

The cricoid cartilage is a ring-shaped structure that sits just below the thyroid cartilage, at the level of the C6 vertebrae. It is the only complete cartilaginous ring of the whole airway.

Gross anatomy

The anterior portion is called the arch and the posterior quadrangular shaped portion is the lamina. It articulates with the thyroid and arytenoid cartilages by synovial joints. In the midline of the lamina there is a vertical ridge with shallow concavities for each side of the posterior cricoarytenoid muscle to attach to. The cricoid cartilage attaches to the thyroid cartilage by the median cricothyroid ligament and to the first tracheal ring by the cricotracheal ligament.

Anatomy: Head and neck
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Article information

rID: 44514
System: Head & Neck
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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