Hyoid Bone Syndrome and Dysphonia: Can Throat Pain Affect the Voice?

Adam D. Rubin, Juliana Codino, Pasquale Bottalico, Sheila Parrish, Cristina Jackson-Menaldi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives/Hypothesis: To investigate the relationship of throat pain and dysphonia. Study Design: Prospective cohort study. Methods: Forty-five subjects presenting with hyoid bone syndrome (HBS) and dysphonia were asked to rate their pain on a numerical rating scale and complete the 10-item Voice-Related Quality of Life (V-RQOL) questionnaire prior to and at 1-week follow-up after treatment with triamcinolone injection into the attachments to the affected greater cornu(s). Wilcoxon signed-rank tests were applied to evaluate if the overall V-RQOL scores, the physical functioning (PF) and social–emotional (SE) domain scores, and pain scores changed significantly after treatment. To evaluate how change in perceived pain affected V-RQOL, the differences in the V-RQOL, PF, and SE domain scores, and in pain scores were calculated for each subject. Three linear models were fit to the response variables, ΔV-RQOL, ΔPF, and ΔSE, using ΔPain as a predicting variable. Results: V-RQOL, PF, and SE domain scores, and pain scores all improved significantly with treatment. A bigger decrease in the pain score led to a bigger increase in V-RQOL and domain scores, with slopes varying between −1.1 and −1.4. The PF domain scores showed the greatest improvement with decrease in pain scores. Conclusions: Effective treatment of HBS led to improvement in patients' voice complaints, suggesting that throat pain may have a direct effect on voice. This may be related to compensatory perilaryngeal adjustments patients make when speaking with a “guarding” effect when they have throat pain. Level of Evidence: IV (Cohort study) Laryngoscope, 131:E2303–E2308, 2021.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E2303-E2308
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Hyoid bone syndrome
  • dysphonia
  • hoarseness
  • hyoidynia
  • throat pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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