As a member of the infrahyoid group of muscles, the thyrohyoid muscle works to elevate the thyroid gland while depressing the hyoid bone. A small muscle, it looks like a vertical extension of the sternothyreoideus muscle within the neck. It arises from its origination point in the thyroid cartilage, and it inserts into the greater cornu of the hyoid bone. The muscle's innervations come by way of the first cervical nerve, which extends out from the atlas bone atop the spinal column. For a short stretch, the first cervical nerve also joins the hypoglossal nerve. The thyrohyoid muscle is not the only muscle attached to the hyoid. The middle pharyngeal constrictor, the digastic, the omohyoid, and other muscles are located in close proximity. The hyoid bone itself is a curved structure in the throat made up of a central body, as well as greater and lesser cornu. The hyoid itself helps protect the thyroid gland and other anatomical components located in the upper throat.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
In Depth: Thyrohyoid