Finally getting some answers

Hello everyone! Thank you for allowing me to creep around for the past few months. You all have kept me sane. In March during a routine dental appointment, I find out that I have eagle syndrome. After going home and researching I see that all the things I had complained about for years, and thought I would just have to live with, has a name. For years I had seen doctors looking for answers to my pain, and in an office visit I am given the answer. I was so relieved at first, and like all of you, I then started my journey to find someone that could help me. My dentist recommended a local small town ENT that had performed eagle surgery before, but my visit with him had me feeling uneasy. Instead of explaining anything he simply told me, “don’t worry. I’ve got you”. For some reason that didn’t make me feel comfortable. Especially after both the dentist and ENT kept trying to keep me from seeking a 2nd opinion. Anyway, I was able to get in to see Dr Brian Burkey Cleveland Clinic who is on the list. And it was the most wonderful appointment! I felt so comfortable and he had me immediately go get a CT with contrast. (The other ENT didn’t think it was necessary). Dr. Burkey told me that quite a few people come to him for Eagles and he has to send them away for various reasons. I don’t think he believes all the common symptoms we all share is related to ES. So, he can’t guarantee the symptoms will disappear. I think that’s fair. He also doesn’t always suggest surgery, but in my case he felt it was necessary. I’m so excited! I’m waiting to hear back about scheduling the surgery and the waiting is killing me. So, he is suggesting external and only on one side. He thinks since the styloid ligaments are grossly calcified and connected to the hyoid that he just wants to remove the calcified ligament on one side to free up tension and give me mobility.
Anyone here have that done? Both ligaments are completely calcified and connected to the hyoid. My styloids are not too long. It’s just the ligaments causing the problem.
Thanks everyone and sorry for the long long post.

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Hi 5Pullets!

On this forum, we’ve pretty consistently found that those w/ bilateral ES (which it sounds like you have) begin to experience pain, which worsens over time, from the remaining side after one side is “fixed”. You should have a talk w/ Dr. Burkey & make sure he’s willing to take care of the second side down the road if you should have symptoms or if your current symptoms never really go away as they may be coming from both calcified ligaments not just one. You should notice a positive difference having one side taken care of though.

I agree with Isaiah, that’s a good suggestion to make sure he’s willing to do the other side later. Equally good that he doesn’t want to do both at once, as it can be more risky because of swelling, & a tougher recovery (although some members have had both done at once).
No doctors will say that your symptoms will go with surgery, so that’s not unusual, & a lot of doctors also don’t believe that some of the more unusual ES symptoms we have are down to ES- maybe post-op you can tell him what’s improved & educate him!!
I’m glad that you’ve found a doctor that you’re comfortable with, & hope that you don’t have to wait too long, but I do feel that you might well need both sides done to feel the full benefit. Let us know when you have a date & if you get any answers from Dr Burkey.

Thank you! I will keep you posted on the date. I also agree with you both. I was going to ask about doing the other side later because I need my life back. It’s also good to know that some symptoms will leave with one side removed.

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