Adult & Pediatric Spine

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26 27 Figure 14 Carotid Triangle 7 Overall Structure Through the same approach used to locate the common carotid artery, the superficial cervical fascia has been removed out to the boundaries of the carotid triangle. The head has been hyperextended to place tension on the sternocleidomastoid muscle and expose all the arteries of the carotid triangle in an undisplaced condition. The common carotid artery is continuous superiorly with the internal carotid artery. Both vessels lie on the line connecting the points of the retromandibular fossa and sternoclavicular joint that have been marked with red pinheads.

48 49 Figure 25 Thyroid Region 7 (Left Side) There are two reasons for presenting both left- and right -sided views of the thyroid region: ( 1) the origin and course of the recurrent laryngeal nerve differ on the two sides of the body, and (2) bilateral dissections are helpful in appreciating the structural variability of this region in general. The distribution of the superior thyroid artery on the left side was shown previously in Figs. 7, 8, 9, 11, and 14, so our exploration of the left thyroid region starts with the left lobe of the thyroid gland, which has been elevated from its bed following division and retraction of the middle cervical fascia with its embedded infrahyoid muscles.

Its branch to the cricothyroid muscle, which tenses the vocal folds, has been isolated along with the delicate branches to the pharyngeal muscles. The isthmus is crossed centrally by a large vein that is fed in part by the cricothyroid veins in front of the conus elasticus. This vein unites inferiorly with the unpaired thyroid plexus, which is very well developed in this specimen. The common carotid artery has maintained its relation to the gland despite the retraction of the sternocleidomastoid muscle.

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