Penetrating wounds of the neck often may appear quite innocuous in relation to the severity of the underlying injury. This is due primarily to the close proximity of major vascular structures and nerves, the larynx, trachea, pharynx, esophagus, mediastinum, and both pleural spaces. While the plan of management with certain types of neck injuries has been previously outlined,9,15,20 emergency surgery for cervicothoracic injuries has little precedent in the surgical literature.5,10,15
The historical aspects of the surgical management of injuries to the neck have been amply reviewed in previous publications.2,15,20,22,23,31 However, operative techniques constantly are modified and improved, and, with them, methods of managing various types of trauma undergo continual evolution. In order to evaluate our present concepts in the management of penetrating wounds of the neck region, this study was performed.
All cases involving penetrating wounds of the cervical and supraclavicular region in which