ES Diagnosis

I’ve just gone to see a specialist for the Eagle Syndrome Diagnosis following CT Scans - I am wondering if anyone has ever had this experience or if anyone can tell me if this seems “normal” – The specialist/surgeon I saw today mentioned that he often finds many people who think they have eagle syndrome and dont – he put his fingers in my throat to see if he could feel the elongated bone - when he put some pressure on it on one side, i heard a crack and he said that in applying pressure it cracked the bone which was clearly very thin and fragile – it has left me in quite alot of pain which he hopes with advil will dissipate soon – and he further indicated that perhaps this could have spared me a surgery - then he proceeded to review the CT Scans – Since this is so foreign to me I just wanted to know if anyone has experienced or heard of this before.

Thanks - Debra

Be careful and don’t rush into anything but if he has cracked the bone then it is still in there . The pain is quite often caused by it pressing and aggravating nearby structures. See how it goes and if it calms down he may have shifted the pressure points. I have it both sides but one side was causing me pain due to the length and angle it had grown at. If it continues to hurt or interfere with your life maybe seek a second opinion. I saw so many specialists that didn’t know much about it and it wasn’t until I joined this amazing site that I got the name of a specialist that was prepared to take me seriously and help. I hope you feel better soon.


Thanks so much for responding. Do you think it is of concern that the bone
is still in there. I did not have this kind of pain (though I knew I had
the condition) when I went in – Dr wants me to wait and see if pain
subsides and have another CT scan and then see him again in end of Aug.
What I’m not sure of (and I’ve called him today for a second time) is the
pain caused by the actually breaking of the bone, the piece hitting
something or what. Your advice is very helpful since no one else I am
contact with had any clue except my dentist. Did you have surgery and/or
are you feeling better?

This is a very subjective question I know and I realize the doctor did mean
to crack the bone, but have you heard of this happening before -

All best,

[Personal information (telephone numbers, addresses, email) removed by ModSupport to protect online privacy. Please contact Debra by private message if you wish to contact her. Click on her avatar --chartreuse circle with G – and the “message” option will appear.]

Is it worse since he cracked it? It sounds as if it could be pressing on nerves.
I have heard stories of people having accidents and the styloid bone being fractured.
If any bits grow thick, boney or get pushed into an angle as it heals then that can cause it to press on nerves and vessels this can cause the symptoms to appear or get worse. I really am not an expert but I have learnt so much about it during my travels to get to the bottom of my headaches etc. Yes I did have one side removed externally and it really has helped me 100%. Some of my face feels numb but its coming back to life. I had the op in Dec 2016 so not that long ago. Some of the specialists I saw before were not happy to operate and suggested painkillers and other tabs. The are a few risks which were explained to me but as with all surgery there are risks. The surgeon I went with knew all about it and had done a few hundred removals and described the op as straight forward . I got his name from people on this website that had been successfully operated on . Its really really important that you find someone that knows all about it and has treated patients before with this condition.
I really do sympathise with you as its so very painful and to have to wait till the end of Aug seems like a lifetime. The only thing is if it does calm down you will not need to go through surgery. Def keep calling him and explain how much more painful it is.
Take care,

I certainly wouldn’t let him operate- he really doesn’t know what he’s doing and could’ve made things an awful lot worse for you. Neck trauma can cause the styloid processes to become inflamed- some members have possibly fractured theirs which has set off the ES process (inflammation, leading to calcification)- so how he thinks he might have helped you by doing this is a mystery!
I guess you can’t really tell if the pain you experienced was from the crack or because you now possibly have loose pieces or sharp edges which could be irritating a nerve… but either way I would definitely look at the doctors list and see if there’s a more experienced doctor you could see. We have had a couple of members who’ve had surgery, and the doctors just broke the styloid during surgery, but didn’t remove the pieces, so they weren’t helped by having the op.

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After reading your email I felt more clarity about what happened and what i
need to do – particularly because i did not have pain before this – I
will be having another CT Scan (as long as insurance approves it) called in
by my regular ENT doctor (who by the way did not recommend the ent surgeon)

  • I actually did not appreciate his line about maybe saving me from surgery
    but since I knew so little I wanted to believe it – and now I realize how
    absolutely absurd that was. This doctor came highly recommended but I
    guess all the degrees in the world don’t ensure a good outcome. Thanks to
    site and to you for be so supportive – Will let you know the outcome.

Who would have ever believed there was something called Eagle Syndrome and
that there would be a group for support – so glad there is.

All best,

Personal information edited out by Moderator

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I had a similar experience. The difference is; my ear burned like … AND noooo ma’am the pain DID NOT get better. My symptoms continued to rotate: the worse being the earaches but I eventually had surgery after a traumatic event.

Thanks for sharing this – well I decided today after speaking to the doctor again that I was not ok with his explanation and am in a good deal of pain, pain which I did not have when I walked in. Another doctor is trying to schedule another CT Scan - waiting to see if insurance will cover again. You know I have diabetes as well so it is important that i don’t create any new risks.

I will tell you that being able to share this with everyone truly help and eases a peculiar burden or rather isolation.

I do hope that the surgery has helped you, sorry you had to go through that.

All best, Debs