Located just above the trachea and shaped like a signet ring, the cricoid cartilage is the only completely cartilaginous (composed all of cartilage) ring in the respiratory system. The front part of the cricoid is the arch and its backside is flattened and called the lamina. Where the lamina and the arch meet there's this "articular facet" for the inferior horn of the thyroid cartilage. (Bet you didn't know that!)

Muscles attached to the cricoid are the extrinsis and a host of intrinsic larynx muscles (the latter of which are responsible for the movement of the vocal chords).

The cricoid also has some membranes attached to it! These are: the Quadrangular, the so-called "Conus elasticus" and the Thyrohyoid (my favorite!)

(If you find that your thirst for cricoid knowledge has not been slaked by this node, there is a goey picture of the friendly cartilage at www.fmcc.org.uk/~nds4/tutorials/larynx/text/p1oc.html.)


Sources:
The lecture notes of Donnald Shanahan
And the glossary compiled by Mark Paahman
Found on www.fmcc.org.uk

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