Short communication| Volume 58, ISSUE 4, P472-474, May 2020

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Sternothyroid receives a supplementary innervation separate to the ansa cervicalis: a case report of a variation

Published:January 31, 2020DOI:


      We report on an additional innervation to the sternothyroid that, to our knowledge, has not been previously described. During a cadaveric neck dissection, we found an aberrant nerve to the sternothyroid in addition to the normal innervation. The classical innervation to the sternothyroid is through the ansa cervicalis (C1-C3), and the sternothyroid muscle is important for depression of the thyroid cartilage that is involved with swallowing and speech. The cervical plexus is difficult and time consuming to elucidate in fixed cadavers, which limits knowledge of variations from this source. Branches of the plexus are delicate and can be damaged during operations on the neck. Awareness of variations in innervation during operation reduces the chance of damage to nerves and prevents functional changes postoperatively.


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