The sensation of a foreign body in the throat when swallowing is a common and very discomforting symptom for those who experience it. Common causes are gastroesophageal reflux disease and possibly upper oesophageal dysmotility. This complaint may be dismissed as psychogenic when a cause for the problem is not readily apparent.
We present two cases in which the patient had a foreign body sensation in the throat, associated with a dry swallow. The most helpful diagnostic procedure was careful examination of the hypopharynx and neck and flexible fibre-optic rhinolaryngoscopy. One case was treated with surgery of the neck and larynx to trim the medially projecting superior cornu of the thyroid cartilage. Surgery was successful in eliminating the symptoms.
Although an uncommon finding, our experience is that symptoms due to a medially displaced thyroid cornu should be considered in the differential diagnosis as an important and surgically correctable cause of persistent foreign body sensation at the hyoid level in the neck.