Can this be Eagle's? CT shows calcification

Hi everyone,

I’m wondering if you might have any insights or suggestions for me. I’ve posted here before about my symptoms, all on the left side – started with major pain around the base of my tongue, constant sore spot up in throat, back of throat, and general area, about 4 months ago. (In past two months, new left-sided pain started, including ear pain and jaw pain.) I had a CT scan done which came back clear, but today I asked the ENT specialist to look at the scan again to check the stylohyoid bone. He checked and said he saw about 1 cm calcification growth, but he didn’t think this was causing the pain. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? What can I try next, any questions I can ask my family doctor, any kind of alternative specialist I can see (osteopath?).

Incidentally, I did see a neurologist last week, who gave me gabapentin – I’ve started on just a portion of the lowest dose (100 mg, 3 times per day) and am supposed to work my way up to 300 mg, 3 times per day within the next two weeks. I’ve been on it for one week and don’t think I notice much difference; maybe a tiny bit of the edge is off? Not sure.

Many thanks in advance for any insights.

Hi Canada2018!

Eagle Syndrome is a) Calcification of the stylohyoid ligament(s) OR
b) Elongation of the styloid process(es) OR c) Both of those things together. If your CT scan shows 1 cm of calcification, you must ask if it’s an extension of the styloid process or 1 cm of calcification on the stylohyoid ligament. In either case, you would potentially have Eagle Syndrome which does cause ALL the symptoms you’re suffering. Additionally, it’s not always the length of the styloid that matters, how thick the styloid is & the angle at which it is growing also play a role in the symptoms that you may have.

Too many doctors that know of Eagle Syndrome truly know nothing about it. It would be good for you to look at the Newbies Guide (HOME tab above) & print out some of the research articles that relate to your symptoms & take them w/ you to your next appointment w/ the neurologist or whoever you see.

Agree with Isaiah! Just to add that gabapentin can take a few weeks to build up enough in your system to start working, so I would give it a bit longer.
I would be quite wary of seeing an osteopath- unless they’re very experienced & understand ES they could do more harm than good, especially if they try manipulation etc.
There’s info in the Newbies Guide about what other sort of specialist might be able to help; as you’ve tried an ENT & a neurologist you could see if there’s an Otolaryngologist/ Skull Base surgeon in your area. They are used to operating in the area of the styloids, so would possibly operate on you if tha’s what you feel you need, & they can often take more off the styloid process than an ENT.
Certainly a 1cm growth if it’s on the styloid process could be enough to give your symptoms, so if you can’t get anywhere with another doctor, as Isaiah says, you could print out research papers to take with you.
Good luck!

Thank you both so much, Isaiah and Jules! I am reading these notes in a hurry just now but will return and carefully re-read as soon as I can later on.

I am so very grateful to you! I hope you have a great day.