Key neurovascular structures in the head & neck

The neck represents an important zone of transition between the head, thorax and arms. Critical neurovascular structures are densely packed and traverse this region; having a sound anatomical awareness of this region is key for performing surgery in this region, and appreciating the effect of pathological processes on the neurovascular supply. In this article we will …

Cricoid confusion

I was recently emailed a question regarding the function of the cricoid cartilage, in relation to swallowing and respiration. When trying to appreciate the functional anatomy of the cricoid cartilage, we need to frame it in the context of the larynx, as the cricoid cartilage functions in conjunction with other structures that make up the …

Can you tell a Bell’s palsy from a stroke?

In this post, I will be discussing the neuroanatomical differentiation between an upper motor neuron (UMN) and lower motor neuron (LMN) facial palsy. The two pathologies in the title could also be differentiated in other ways, for example, the speed of onset, additional symptoms and signs, etc.; however understanding the neuroanatomy in the context of …

Neuroanatomy primer

The aim of this post is to clarify some basic neuroanatomy terms and to give you a sound foundation. Before we start, a quick bit of housekeeping, I use the British spelling for neurone (also used by Gray's Anatomy, The Anatomical basis of clinical practice) as opposed to the American spelling neuron. Abbreviations used include …