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A branch of the vagus nerve (CN X). It leaves the vagus in the root of the neck: on the right, it loops under the subclavian artery, while on the left it loops under the arch of the aorta. It then ascends along the lateral wall of the trachea to the larynx where it innervates all the intrinsic muscles except the cricothyroid muscle; it is also sensory to the mucosa below the vocal folds. Injuries of the recurrent laryngeal nerve cause hoarseness, dysphagia, and dyspnea.
See also: nerve