FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

I realised that this forum has a powerful WIKI capability. So why not to create a FAQ topic where everyone can contribute, as I can see the same questions popping up again and again?
The beauty of WIKI post is that anybody can contribute to it thus improving the scope and quality of the answers, fixing errors, doing clean-up, adding new questions, adding links etc.

How to create a new discussion on this forum?

At the bottom right corner of the screen, click on huge + sign, enter the title of the topic, and choose the category (use General if unsure). Write your post and click “Create topic”. Use text editing tools to make text bold, italic, or upload a picture.

Why can't I upload a picture?

New members might be unable to upload pictures due to the new member restrictions. Contact forum moderator.

Are there any recommended doctors/surgeons treating this syndrome?

Some of the doctors/surgeons familiar with the Eagles syndrome are mentioned in these topics:

Is there any research in this field?

See this topic: Doctors Who Have Authored Research Papers

So, what is the Eagle's syndrome?

A good comprehensive overview is here: ES Information: Background, Anatomy, Styloid Length, Angulation, Classic and Vascular and here: ES Information: Common Symptoms And Possible Explanations For Them

What type of imaging is best to see elongated styloid processes?

Gold standard is a head/neck CT scan. Contrast media (“dye”) use is preferred as it allows to visualise and assess any blood flow impairments. CBCT (ConeBeam CT scan) might be useful if it covers the area of styloid processes. Sometimes a panoramic X-ray (aka pano, ortopantomogram) taken at the dentist’s office may be sufficient. Plain x-ray films (aka regular head/neck x-ray) are usually too indecisive, though in some cases open-mouth view might show the styloid processes, especially when they are thick and grow at unusual angle. Ultrasound and MRI imaging are less effective.

How can I make 3D view from my existing CT scan images?

On computers with Windows OS, one of the most user-friendly software is RadiANT DICOM Viewer. See this topic for more information: RadiANT DICOM Viewer tutorial

What is the cause of elongated styloid processes?

The short answer: we don’t know (yet), though there are multiple theories.
The long answer: there are multiple proposed models, some of them rely on the fact that calcification might happen as a result of prolonged inflammation, which can be caused by multiple factors, including infection, tonsillectomy, acute or chronic neck trauma/injury, surgeries in the neck area etc. Also there are anecdotal evidence of elongated styloids going in generations, and also occurring in people with less stable necks (caused by hypermobility, neck injuries/whiplashes, EDS etc) possibly as a result of body’s attempt to stabilise the neck.
Also see this topic: ES Information: What Causes ES?

Where can I learn about anatomy and radiology?

Information on the Internet is abundant and just a google away, including high quality diagrams, lectures and interactive models.
Some resources are listed here: List of my favourite resources on YouTube to learn anatomy - #9 by vdm
A good interactive human body model is here: https://www.zygotebody.com. One of the most famous online radiology resources is https://radiopaedia.org
Skull base anatomy topic: Skull base anatomy and reading CT

What are the risks of surgery?

Surgery may worsen the existing symptoms, or create new ones, especially if performed by inexperienced or less skilled surgeon. Also, bleeding or nerve damage causing temporary or permanent neurological deficits (e.g. facial numbness or paralysis, neuralgic pain) may occur.

Can untreated Eagle's syndrome cause death?

There have been a few documented cases when elongated styloid processes caused arterial dissection (certain type of damage to the artery feeding the brain) leading to stroke and/or death.

What does the Eagle's syndrome surgery look like?

There are some videos where surgeons record live surgeries: Any good surgery videos?
Warning: graphic content

How Eagle's syndrome is diagnosed?

The short answer is that “classic” ES has quite strict criteria for diagnosis, which means symptoms must match radiological findings, as many people have asymptomatic (painless) elongated styloids and thus do not qualify for ES diagnosis.
However, that has been changing lately as more and more research is being done in this field and “new” vascular (arterial and/or venous) “versions” of Eagle’s syndrome get more and more attention.
It can be diagnosed by ENT doctors, maxillofacial surgeons, neurologists, neurosurgeons, radiologists, dentists, chiropractors, osteopaths and even family doctors/general practitioners. It is worth mentioning that there is a lot of scepticism and even ignorance if not medical gaslighting related to the diagnosis of Eagle’s syndrome, and some people suffer for years until receiving adequate help.
Also see this topic: ES Information: How Is ES Diagnosed

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@vdm - This is a good suggestion as you well know the answers are scattered all over in this forum. Jules wrote a series of longer posts which start: ES Information… that can be found in the Newbies Guide under the Welcome category where you just posted. These posts cover a huge amount of information about ES, but having a concise list of questions/answers for quick reference would be quite handy.

@Isaiah_40_31 that’s the point - to lessen moderators’ workload and empower everybody to pitch in.


I just sent ModSupport a link to your post for an opinion. They’ll read this thread & give input. I think it’s a really great idea, & you’re right would be a huge time saver over having to repetitively answer the same questions.

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In addition it would be good to have a one clean topic where just the information with references is laid out, and is not lost in a discussion. AKA to have a topic with high signal-to-noise ratio.


The suggestion is to put it in the Newbies Guide which makes sense. Just trying to find out who sets it up.

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A post was split to a new topic: Four Hours Post Op with Terrible Pain

I think a good idea would be to lock this post from any replies, and perhaps just to leave a single top post e.g. to delete everything except that one?

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That’s kind of why I did the Newbies Guide Section, so all the commonly asked questions were in one area, but sadly not everyone looks at it & posts questions which are in there! Info is easily available by using the search function, again that’s underused! I guess some people are maybe overwhelmed when they join & just want the info given to them quickly.

How about the idea of pinning one post (e.g. FAQ style) on top (is there such a function?), with FAQ among others including the question on how to create a new posts (instead of replying to some existing post), how to use the search, and basic information possible to grasp in one go, and locking that post to prevent from direct replies? As it seems, a lot of replies to existing topics happen due to the lack of proper visibility of that “+” button.
I suspect (from my own personal experience on various forums) that one cannot effectively use search until learns some basics to understand what to search for, also a large amount of detailed information (e.g. long posts) usually need some “index” to provide quick overview. Now it seems we live in TikTok era where attention span is very short and demand for easy access is enormous.