Recurrent Laryngeal N

The reason the nerve is called RECURRENT is that they are one few nerves that follow a recurrent course, moving in the opposite direction to the nerve they branch from.

  • A branch of the vagus nerve (cranial nerve X)
    • Right and Left (Both travel alongside of the trachea)
      • left nerve looping under the aortic arch
      • right nerve looping under the right subclavian a.
  • Supplies:
    • Intrinsic muscles of the larynx (except for crico-thyroid muscles)
      • The important one to remember is posterior crico-arytenoid muscle is the only muscle that can open the vocal cords
    • Sensation of the larynx below the vocal cords
    • Cardiac branches —> deep cardiac plexus
    • Trachea; Esophagus
    • Constrictor muscle