Childhood Diseases

Posted by: Peta | 2012/02/08


Hydroid bone

hi Dr
Us again - 3yr with feeding tube.

I was wondering how you would test if a child''s hydroid bone is working / if there are any issues with it? I have heard that this bone is paramount in ensuring that a child can swallow properly and if it is injured, it causes many issues. Will it affect speech if it is injured? Would his cricopharyngeal inco-ordination syndrome with laryngeal incompetence include this bone?

My son has been for many tests over the years and l am wondering whether testing this bone would be included in a standard swallowing tests / bariums / gastroscopies etc or how would a person know if there were an issue with it?

I guess l am gripping at straws here but honestly cannot understand how a child can eat perfectly normally but will only drink 100-200ml a day. He is happier swallowing thicker things - eg food - but not thinner liquids.

At this rate l am never going to get rid of this feeding peg yet he is normal in any other way! Sorry for the moan but just came across this bone in conversation and was wondering how you would know it if were injured or something was wrong.

Thank you for your time once again.

Expert's Reply



Thank you. The hyoid bone is important in that many of the muscles involved in swallowing and speech are connected to it. In children this bone is soft and flexible as it has not formed into actual bone yet. It is probably not a cause of swallowing difficulty as far as I am aware. It may help to speak to an expert in the anatomy of the speech and swallowing muscles such as a speech therapist and get an opinion on your concerns and on your theory.

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user comments


Posted by: Jana | 2012/02/09

Doc, my 8th month old is not sleeping well at night. Sy weighs 9.5kg, eats healthy during the day, drinks her bottles well but wakes every 2 hours at night. I offer her water (took away the night bottle), she takes a few sips, sleeps for an hour or 2 and awake again. Last night she was awake from 11 to 3 o''clock, I eventually offered her milk but she only took a few sips, did not really want to drink! She''s lately also crying when she wakes, in the past this was not the case, could give her water, put in her dummy, turn her around and she would sleep again. She''s not hungry, her nose is not blocked, nothing " wrong"  that I can see. I read about the " silent reflux" , could this be it and if so, how do I identify this? I would not like to change her milk, is there a medicine that I can give for this if this could be the problem?? But why is she sleeping 4 hours in the day without any hassle? She " sleeps"  for at least 10 hours per night.

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