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Hyoid bone

Learning objectives:

This study unit will help you to:

  1. Identify the bony landmarks of the hyoid bone.
  2. List the muscles that attach to the hyoid bone.
  3. Name the cartilages, membranes, and ligaments that are adjacent to the hyoid bone.

Watch videos

The hyoid bone is a small U-shaped bone located in the anterior neck between the epiglottis and the thyroid cartilage. It does not articulate directly with other bones, but instead is connected to adjacent bones via muscles and ligaments. The hyoid bone serves as an attachment site for the muscles of the floor of the mouth, tongue, larynx, epiglottis, and pharynx.

Together with these muscles, the hyoid bone assists in movements, such as opening the jaw, articulating, swallowing, and coughing.

The following video will provide you with an overview of the hyoid bone and its adjacent structures.

Take a quiz

Now that you have watched the video, test your acquired knowledge with our quiz.

For a broader overview, take our custom quiz about the structures of the neck, and choose the topics or individual terms that you want to be tested on.

Browse atlas

Explore the hyoid bone and surrounding structures in this atlas gallery:

The following gallery will provide you with an overview of the different muscles attaching to the hyoid bone:


Key points about the hyoid bone
Parts Central body, two lesser horns and two greater horns
Attaching muscles Suprahyoid and infrahyoid muscles, certain pharyngeal muscles, and  extrinsic tongue muscles
Function Aids in opening the jaw, speaking, swallowing, and coughing

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