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The tracheal cartilage is approximately 20 C-rings of tough, hyaline cartilage that lend stability to the trach and the primary bronchi and prevent the trach from collapsing. The soft tissue and muscle at the back of the C-rings allow the esophagus to expand when food is swallowed. C-ring describes the shape of tracheal cartilage. The open part of the ‘C’ is at the posterior trachea — between the trach and the esophagus — where connective tissue and muscle fill in the gap.

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