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Journal of Maxillofacial Trauma 2012 August;1(2):51-4

language: English

Nonsurgical management of blunt laryngotracheal trauma: case report and review of literature

Shessel B.A. 1, Lee S. 2

1 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Nova Southeastern University, College of Dental Medicine, Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA;
2 Trauma Services, Memorial Regional Hospital, Hollywood, FL, USA


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Laryngotracheal trauma (LTT) is an uncommon injury with a reported incidence of approximately 1 in 15000 trauma patients.1 Blunt LTT in particular has been reported to account for less than 5% of all neck injuries, and has primarily been associated with strangulation and unrestrained individuals in motor vehicle crashes.2, 3 Because these injuries are not often encountered, determination of an appropriate treatment regimen can be challenging. The Schaeffer classification is commonly cited as a means of both stratifying the extent of injury, and as a guide for management. This frequently advocates the use of surgical airway management for severe injuries.3 We report a case of a 43-year-old male who sustained a severe injury to the larynx associated with a displaced fracture of the thyroid cartilage who was successfully managed non-operatively. The objective of this report is to demonstrate that conservative management may be a viable treatment option for patients who have sustained severe laryngotracheal trauma.

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