Calcified Styloid Process?

Hi there. Has anyone been diagnosed with calcified styloids? My CT results say that both of mine are calcified. My styloids are not long enough to be removed apparantly, and they will not diagnose me with ES. 2.3cm on right and 2.6 on the left. They are causing me symptoms- and I was encouraged to speak a experienced ENT for further evaluation of the CT results. I had to beg my primary for the CT and they have zero exp. with this. My symptoms began 3 years ago- deep ear pain, pain when turning head toward that ear, neck pain/pulling, aching throat sensation, facial pain and numbing, headaches, heart thumping inside of ear, etc. … I was diagnosed with atypical facial pain, TN (trigeminal neuralgia) from TMJ/TMD, had Botox, night splint, sinus surg to remove polyps and sinuplasty, all my wisdom teeth removed, countless meds (now off all meds using alternatives due to bad side effects) MRI brain,MRA brain, CT neck, CT soft tissues of the neck, CT sinus, nothing wrong with my ear, no infection etc. Has anyone experienced calcified styloids?

Hi pamb71!
There’s info about ES in the Newbies Guide, which explains a bit about the anatomy around the styloids and how ES is diagnosed etc. Basically everyones’ styloid processes are calcified- they’re bony processes which grow down from the skull base and are anchor points for ligaments or muscles. The stylo-hyoid ligaments which are attached to the styloid process can also become calcified, which is not ‘normal’. ES is diagnosed when the styloid processes grow large or at a funny angle, and cause pain/ irritation or compress nerves and/ or blood vessels, or otherwise if the ligaments are calcified and cause pain in the same way.
Your processes are around the average length (although doctors use different averages, so that can get confusing, but 2.5 cms is mostly used), but there are research studies which have found that the angle they’re growing at is just as important when diagnosing ES as the length. Your symptoms certainly sound typical of ES, and it’s frustrating that you’ve been through other treatments to try to find the cause. The best advice we can give is to either try to get your CT made into a 3D image, as that would make it easier to see the angle of the SP’s and see if they’re close to other structures, or if they’re not helpful with that, then try to get a copy of your CT on CD, then you can use free software to make it into a 3D one yourself. (There’s advice about how to do that in the ES Info sections too.) Ideally a CT with contrast- when they dye our blood vessels to see if there’s any compression of those- is the best for assessing the styloids, but if you’ve struggled to get an ordinary CT done, I’m sure that might be a problem. If you get no joy getting a copy of your CT, maybe you could ask for it to be evaluated again to look for the angle and the width of the styloid processes.
Some doctors on the doctors list (in the Doctors Info section) will look at CT’s themselves and evaluate them, like Dr Samji in California. I’m not sure whereabouts you are, but it might be worth having a look at the least to see if there’s any more experienced doctors you could see.
If you have no joy that way, members have found it helpful to look through the info here and print off useful parts of research papers which support your case (like symptoms you have, and the research mentioning the angle causing symptoms etc.) and take those with you to see your ENT to see if that helps them take you seriously.
I’m afraid that many members have been in the same situation as you, struggling to get diagnosed or to get surgery, so we can all sympathise, but don’t give up, keep fighting your case and hopefully you’ll get help!

Hi! I have calcified styloid.process as well on both sides along with the hyoid bone. I am now waiting for my consultation for DR. SANJI in San jose. They say he is the countries best for eagles syndrom. I absolutely suffer everyday as well and YES its hard to deal with. I recommend sending an them with any report that you have and he will determine if you are a candidate for surgery. I have personally experienced that different doctors have different opinions! I have flown out to California to see multiple doctors that would specialize in this and the first was AT USC in LA but he wanted to go the holilistic route and that is not going to work. … I didn’t make it to ucla because I finally had the response that i was waiting for from sanji… I have been dealing with everything on the left side of my face and it’s been horrible from nerve issues to pain in my neck to vision disturbances and the feeling of a tear in the neck… I have way too many symptoms but it sounds like you have gone to the wrong doctor… don’t give up and again you can find this doc info on this site under doctors… hope this helps and good luck with everything and if I can help you with anything please let me know :slight_smile: we are in this together! :heart: Tambra

The styloid process are bones so are always calcified. I am guessing you mean the ligaments are calcified?

Yes… I am going through compression somewhere. I can’t produce tears now from my left eye. Ithe feels like circulation is being cut off on my left eye so my vision is totally impired. I have a wide amount of horrible symptoms

Tambralee - When is your consult w/ Dr. Samji?

I have had it all ready and he does not believe in vascular

No he doesn’t believe in vascular ES. It didn’t bother me that he didn’t differentiate because he is so experienced at doing the surgeries. He’s done over 100 by now. I had one side w/ vascular symptoms & one w/o. He did the vascular symptom side first. I chose not to argue w/ him about whether or not there is “vascular ES”. ES is ES to him whether or not the styloids or calcified ligaments are pressing on vascular tissues. That’s not to say he doesn’t deal with vascular ES when he’s doing surgery. Clearly he does as my vascular symptoms went away after he operated on the side that was causing those. There are a number of members on this site who have had vascular symptoms who have had Dr. Samji do their surgeries & who have experienced complete healing from those symptoms post op. If I were you, I wouldn’t dismiss him as a possibility for doing your surgery unless you really don’t want to come back to CA. He is a fantastic surgeon.

when Dr Sami explained to me about my vascular involvement it was that there isn’t enough research and data so he does the same surgery either way and if it fixes the vascular involvement - great, but because of the lack of research he can’t say it will.

In my case, I had the SP pressing linearly on the jugular vein, he told me post-surgery. He was very happy to hear my syncope stopped after surgery.

Thank you! I am still considering all options. I know 100% that I am
having carotid issues. The symptoms are so difficult and I can now feel the
blood flow decreasing like a blockage, especially in the left eye. I can’t
believe something like this is so severe. I will talk to one more Doctor
and then go from there. I noticed someone on this site had the surgery with
the first Physician that I went to at mayo in Jacksonville FL. His Name is
Dr Geoffrey Young, he has only done about 10 or less surgeries and only
does the internal type. Thanks for you responses as they are greatly
appreciated :heart:

I am now scheduled for surgery! It can’t come soon enough. I am so worried about the carotid artery compressing now because my symptoms are getting worse with my left eye. It’s like blood flow and circulation is being cut off . My surgery is on the books for Oct 2nd but I don’t know if I can last till then! It’s becoming harder and harder everyday. I wanted to share this article from the doc that is going to do the surgery on me2006_03_Chhetri_Heterogeneity in the Presentation of Eagle’s Syndrome.pdf (197.2 KB)
Feel free to share this. Thanks

I’ll have a look at that research paper, thanks! It’s good news that you’ve got someone to operate… for the UK NHS an October date would be really quick, but I know it usually happens quicker in the US. Have you asked if there’s any possibility of being put on a cancellation list?

Thanks and yes. I am hoping to get in sooner as I have already talked to
the Doctor today. He is wonderful with email. I am trying to find something
he does not know if they are related but with all the research to the
carotid that I have done MAYBE… IT’S HELL! I don’t have much pain in
throat at all but I do have many other sensations. I hate it!

I didn’t ever have much throat pain and no difficulty swallowing- it was the vascular symptoms which were really getting to me too. Usually the vascular symptoms improve really quickly after surgery, fingers crossed for you and you’re on my prayer list! God Bless x

Thanks so much! I really appreciate that :slight_smile: I will keep you updated!

That is awesome news!! So glad you’ve found a surgeon you’re comfy with. I will read the article you sent the link for ASAP. I saw that 3 doctors were involved in the research & documentation. Which one are you seeing?

Thanks! I’m going to dines chhertri

Hi, has your vascular symptoms improved post surgery? Did they remove the Calcified ligaments or the whole bone?