A few questions from a newbie

I’ve heard that the Styloid can grow back. Is that common? Is the surgery really worth it then? I don’t want to keep going through surgeries!

I also keep noticing clicking/popping near what I think is my hyoid when I turn my head. Is that part of Eagles too?

I’ve also heard that a tonsillectomy can cause eagle’s. If my ENT takes out my tonsils with the styloid could this cause this to happen on my right side which is unaffected?

Also, who did your surgery? An ENT or someone else?


Firstly, a lot of members have had surgery with an ENT, but quite a few have had skull base surgeons do surgery, some even with neurovascular surgeons.
Yes, the styloid can grow back, but this isn’t common- I don’t have any figures, but there’ve been a lot of members through here and only a handful have come back saying that it’s re-grown.
Tonsillectomy was the first cause found of ES, but if you have intra-oral surgery, they have to remove the tonsil to get to the styloid, which does seem a bit ironic. But presumably they would only need to remove the tonsil on the side they’re operating on, I wouldn’t think they’d need to remove both. That would be a good thing to ask your doctor if you’re thinking of having surgery. ES can be caused by things other than tonsillectomies though, like neck trauma, aging causing connective tissues to not be so elastic, metabolic disorders… (there’s info in the Newbies Guide)
Clicking and popping in the neck and ears are common symptoms. The styloid bone is an anchor for the stylo-hyoid ligament, which connects the two bones, so if that ligament is calcified it can cause stiffness etc., which might account for the noises you hear/ feel.
As for is the surgery worth it- that’s a personal decision. You have to weigh up how painful etc. the symptoms are that you have against the risks of the op. Rarely do doctors ever guarantee that symptoms will go with surgery. Most people get to the point where life is so painful or difficult with the symptoms that they’re okay about going through the surgery. Whether or not it re-grows is something no-one can know, but like I said, it is rare.
Hope this helps!

I do know that I was told it forms over years therefore regrowth, if it occurs post surgery, should be equally slow so could, potentially , give years rather than months of relief.
Worth the risk in my book. I am aware that my Surgeon is planning the antero-lateral external approach which is, I believe??, the preferred route. This leads to less complicated surgery avoiding aspiration risks of bleeding and I think quicker healing. Other than that practical aspects might affect your choice, imagine a good hefty cough if the trans oral route is followed Ouch !!!

Unless you’re a teenager- EarMom’s son had his re-grow after a year. Most of us are considerably older than that though…

Yeah I’m 30, so definitely not a teenager.

I had right side styloidectomy external approach 5 years ago, didn’t solve my problems unfortunately and recent scans show regrown. I’m at a loss and fed up, trying gabapentine again but makes me feel crap. There are people who have successful surgery, guess it’s just luck if the draw!
Good luck x

My surgeon told me when he completely removed my bone he ground the spot so I would absolutely not have regrowth [external surgery]. Surgeons do not like to make promises - I feel like I can take this to the bank. I hope this info helps you decide.