This is a general question. I have been diagnosed with ES. I have minimal symptoms from it at this point. My fangs are pretty long at 5.1 and 6.6. So, do I do a “virtual visit” with Cognetti, just so I know if my fangs are near anything dangerous and just to be informed? Or just let it alone until/if I have more serious troubles? I do have the throat clicks off and on… and sometimes I feel something in the throat area. Mine was discovered by accident, not from trouble I was having. I don’t want to want to waste Cognetti’s time, but I want to know if these fangs are like a hair from my jugular vein, right? What are your thoughts??? Let it go, or get as much info as possible???
The only way to see if the styloids are close to any blood vessels is to have a CT with contrast done- I’d imagine most people’s will be close to vessels, as it’s a very cramped space though, with major blood vessels going to & from the head as well as several cranial nerves which exit the skull base close to the styloid processes. It’s often not the length of the styloids which cause symptoms but the angle they grow at.
There are risks to surgery- obvious risks of catching a blood vessel or causing a stroke, but also of (usually temporary) damage to one of the cranial nerves. Seeing an experienced surgeon will help minimise those risks, & most surgeons will monitor the nerves, but also there can be problems with scar tissue later. So if symptoms aren’t too bad & don’t affect quality of life then it may be best left alone…but there is the possibility of the styloids continuing to grow, & if the stylohyoid ligaments are starting to calcify then that could continue & worsen. If nerves are being irritated or compressed & the styloids left then they could damage further.
We’ve had a similar discussion recently, I think generally the consensus is if not causing many problems then best left, & look into surgery if they do in future.
It’s thought that many people may have elongated styloid processes & never know; Eagles Syndrome is only diagnosed if people have elongated processes and/ or calcified ligaments & symptoms.
Here’s one discussion:
Hope this helps!
Go for the virtual visit. Obtain as much professional information as you can so yo can move forward with educated decision about how to proceed. Having an experienced ES doc view your scan is, in my opinion ideal.