As of the latest update, Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge have made a breaking change to how file uploads are handled. Once your system installs this update, you will not be able to upload new images. Please use another browser until we can get it fixed.

Sternohyoid muscle

The sternohyoid muscle is an infrahyoid muscle of the neck that is innervated by the ansa cervicalis of the cervical plexus receiving fibers from the ventral rami of C1-C3 spinal nerves. The sternohyoid is a paired, flat strap of muscle that serves to fix the hyoid bone as well as depressing the larynx in phonation and in the terminal phase of swallowing.

  • origin: posterior surface of manubrium sterni and the sternoclavicular joint
  • insertion: lower body of the hyoid bone
  • innervation: anterior rami of C1-C3 spinal nerves through the ansa cervicalis of the cervical plexus
  • action:
    • depresses and fixes the hyoid bone
    • draws the hyoid bone and underlying larynx downwards in phonation and the terminal phase of swallowing

The sternohyoid muscles are paired muscles that originate from the upper posterior surface of the manubrium and sternoclavicular joints.

The muscles travel vertically to insert on the lower border of the hyoid bone. At their insertion on the hyoid bone the sternohyoid muscles lie edge-to-edge however diverge around the laryngeal prominence (Adam’s apple), which protrudes between them.

The sternohyoid muscle is one of the infrahyoid “strap” muscles. It is superficial to the sternothyroid and thyrohyoid muscles and inserts just medial to the superior belly of the omohyoid muscle on the inferior border of the hyoid bone.

The sternohyoid muscle receives its blood supply from the lingual and superior thyroid arteries.

The sternohyoid muscles are innervated by the anterior rami of C1 – C3 (predominantly C2 and C3) through the ansa cervicalis of the cervical plexus.

The sternohyoid muscle primarily depresses and fixes the hyoid bone and underlying larynx. Electromyographic studies have also demonstrated the muscle is involved in phonation by depressing the hyoid bone and underlying larynx.


Anatomy: Head and neck

Anatomy: Head and neck

Share article

Article information

rID: 38276
System: Head & Neck
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Sternohyoid muscles

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: nerve to sternohyoid
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Figure 2: cervical plexus labeled
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

     Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

     Thank you for updating your details.