In-Office Superior Laryngeal Nerve Block for Paralaryngeal Pain and Odynophonia

Kathleen M. Tibbetts, Gregory R. Dion, Laura M. Dominguez, Michael J. Loochtan, C. Blake Simpson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objectives: Pain localized to the thyrohyoid region may be due to neuralgia of the superior laryngeal nerve (SLN), inflammation of the thyrohyoid complex, or a voice disorder. We present outcomes of treatment of paralaryngeal pain and odynophonia with SLN block. Study Design: Retrospective Review. Methods: A retrospective chart review of patients undergoing in-office SLN block for paralaryngeal pain between 2015 and 2018 at two tertiary care centers was conducted. Patient demographics, indications, and response to treatment were analyzed. Results: Thirty-eight patients underwent blockade of the internal branch of the SLN for paralaryngeal pain, with 10 excluded for incomplete medical records. Eighty-two percent (23/28) reported an improvement in their symptoms. Patients underwent an average of 2.5 blocks (SD = 1.88, range 1–8), with 10 patients (36%) undergoing a single procedure. Of the 18 patients who underwent multiple blocks, nine had eventual cessation of symptoms (50%) compared to resolution in 6/10 undergoing a single injection. Eleven patients (39%) noted odynophonia related to vocal effort, and all of these patients had improvement in or resolution of their symptoms and were more likely to improve compared to those without odynophonia (P =.006). Of the four patients who had a vocal process granuloma (VPG) at presentation, three had complete resolution of the lesion at follow-up. Conclusion: In-office SLN block is effective in the treatment of paralaryngeal pain. It may be used as an adjunct in the treatment of vocal process granulomas, as well as voice disorders where odynophonia is a prominent symptom. Level of Evidence: 4 Laryngoscope, 132:401–405, 2022.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-405
Number of pages5
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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