Vocal cord paralysis - Vocal fold immobility (1525)

Key points below

What are vocal cords? 

Vocal cords (folds) are two muscles in the throat. They are in the voice box (larynx) at the top of the windpipe. They have 3 important jobs: 

1.When we breathe, they open to let air get through the windpipe to the lungs.
2.When we talk, they close and vibrate against each other to make sound.
3.When we swallow, they close to help protect the windpipe.   

Vocal cord

What is vocal cord paralysis?

Vocal cord paralysis, or vocal fold immobility, means one or both vocal cords are not moving like they should. There are nerves that make the vocal cords move. When these nerves are injured, this can affect how the cords move. Injury to the nerves can come from:

Sometimes the reason for the vocal cord paralysis is not known. 

How is it diagnosed?

Medicine may be sprayed in your child’s nose and down the back of their throat. A small camera is then passed through the nose.  The doctor looks at where your child’s vocal cords are to see if they move. This test was done, and found that:

Your child’s vocal cord paralysis is on the:

The cord(s) is stuck in:

How will it affect my child? 

Your child may have:

It does not affect language development. 

Will it get better?

How will it be managed?

Your child’s pediatric otolaryngologist is Dr. ___________________________. 
Office phone: 414-266-________.
Your child’s speech pathologist is ______________________________.
Office phone: 414-266-________.


Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any concerns or if your child has special health care needs not covered by this information.