The trapezoidal-shaped area of the neck bounded by the hyoid bone, cricoid cartilage, and medial borders of the sternocleidomastoid muscles is widely exposed to knife slash and stab injuries. Suicidal or homicidal throat slashes involving this area may produce serious horizontal laryngeal injuries, whereas homicidal stab wounds may produce serious vertical laryngeal or hypopharyngeal injuries. The extent of such injuries often cannot be predicted from the entrance wounds and presenting symptoms. Therefore special guidelines should be followed to insure the safety of selective exploration of knife wounds penetrating into the airspaces within this trapezium. In addition, repair of serious laryngeal injuries may require use of laryngoplasty or partial laryngectomy techniques rather than simple repair.
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