Figure 9-3 Boundaries of the triangles of the neck.
Figure 9-4 Thyroid gland.
The pharynx and larynx are discussed in Chapter 12, The Oral Cavity and Pharynx.
The sternocleidomastoid muscle overlies the carotid sheath. The carotid sheath lies lateral to the larynx. This sheath contains the common carotid artery, the internal jugular vein, and the vagus nerve.
Posterior to the sternocleidomastoid is the posterior triangle. This is bounded by the trapezius muscle posteriorly and by the clavicle inferiorly. The posterior triangle also contains lymph nodes.
It has been estimated that the neck contains more than 75 lymph nodes on each side. The chains of these lymph nodes are named for their location. Starting posteriorly, they are the occipital, posterior auricular, posterior cervical, superficial and deep cervical (adjacent to the sternocleidomastoid muscle), tonsillar, submaxillary, submental (at the tip of the jaw in the midline), anterior auricular, and supraclavicular (above the clavicle) chains. Knowledge of the lymphatic drainage is important because the presence of an enlarged lymph node may signal disease in the area draining into it. The main groups of lymph nodes and their drainage areas are shown in Figure 9-5.
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