Doctors and providers who treat this condition


Pharyngeal Abrasion

You have an abrasion (scratch) of your pharynx (back of the throat). This can occur when swallowing a sharp piece of food (bread crust, fish or chicken bone) or sharp object (glass or metal). For the next 12-24 hours, it may continue to feel like something is stuck there or it may cause a sharp pain when swallowing. This is normal and is due to pain from the injured tissue. After 24 hours all symptoms should go away.

Rarely, the sharp object can become stuck in the tissue. A small bone or food particle can be hard to see on an exam and does not show up on an X-ray. It may require a second exam to know if this is the problem. So, watch for the signs listed below.

Home Care:

  • Eat soft foods and liquids until the pain stops.

  • Gargle with warm salt water. (Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of table salt in a glass of hot water.)

  • Lozenges and sprays used for sore throat may be helpful in reducing pain (Chloraseptic spray or lozenges). This is especially useful just before meals.

Follow Up

with your doctor or as advised by our staff if you are not better in the next 24 hours.

[ NOTE: Any X-rays taken will be reviewed by a radiologist. You will be notified of any new findings that may affect your care.]

Get Prompt Medical Attention

if any of the following occur:

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38ºC) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider

  • Throat pain that worsens or lasts over 24 hours

  • Unable to swallow liquids or open your mouth wide due to pain

  • Trouble breathing or noisy breathing

  • Muffled voice

  • Increased pain with neck movement


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