Fresh out of surgery

I have always had tmj and tension in my jaw and neck but about eight months ago I developed a sore throat that wouldn’t go away. I had multiple strep cultures that all came back negative. I felt like I had a grape stuck in my throat and I had this horrible feeling that I was being strangled. I started at an ENT, then a gastro, then a cardiologist. I was sure there was something terribly wrong and I was suffocating. Finally, out of sheer frustration I put my finger into my throat to show my husband exactly where it hurt and man did I get scared. It felt like a hard nail was jutting right into my throat. I went back to the ENT, made him stick his finger down my throat and behold a diagnosis- eagle syndrome-. I had surgery with Dr. Delacure on Friday. So relieved. Still have ear pain and my jaw is definitely tight and hurting. Crunchy sound in my ear when I chew too. Taking lots of pain meds around the clock. Managing but in pain. So happy to have found this blog!


I hope you feel better soon! Glad you finally got the diagnosis! Lots of icing I hear!! Did he take the whole thing out? Was your ligament calcified and if so did he take that out also? Does the lump in your throat feel better? I saw Dr. DeLacurr last week and I am considering surgery. Keep us updated!

I didn’t see Dr. Delacure after the surgery and haven’t heard from him at all so I actually have no idea. Waiting to call the office tomorrow. Hoping to get more information. The my throat definitely feels better but I still have a choking sensation that I think is from the swelling. They only gave me 10 pain killers and I am about to use them up but definitely think I still need. Any healing advice is welcome. Throbbing headache, jaw and neck pain. Still so relieved though.

Definitely keep icing to keep the swelling down, & if you can sleep semi-upright that will help too. Use a wedge pillow or quite a few pillows to keep you propped up. Lots of soft foods so you don’t have to chew too much. The choking sensation could be swelling, or otherwise irritated nerves.
Recovery can take quite a few months to get you back to normal, so don’t be worried if symptoms take a while to go- we’ve had members who still see improvements even a year after surgery! And swelling etc can peak about day 5, so don’t be worried if you feel things worsen for a few days, people often feel bad about this time, but it will pass. And you still may get ups & downs, it’s very common, & easy to overdo things on the good days which can set healing back!
Hope that you can get some more painkillers, & that you heal well! :bouquet: :pray:

Hang in there SS67.
I was warned my TMJ could kick up after surgery and it did. My biggest problem after surgery was the tight jaw and pain in ear. Although overall I did well, I took those pain killers like clockwork. After 3 days I could back off on them but did use them all (30) within the 30 days after surgery when I would have some pain flairs. I certainly hope you can get more pain meds. Drives me nuts docs dont want to give enough pain meds and they are so afraid of “addiction” after surgery.
I dont know Dr. Delacure protocol but Dr. Samji gives u rx for prednisone after surgery for about a 10 day course. I think that made a huge difference in helping with the initial swelling. I lied low for a coupe weeks and rested alot, icing all the time and on wedge pillow religiously.
Im getting ready to go in for 2nd round of surgery and Im wondering if muscle relaxers might help the tight jaw? I am going to ask but may not a good mix with pain killers right after surgery. Its not uncommon to get those headaches from anesthesia. It takes a good 3-4 weeks for all those meds to work themselves out of the body. Hope your recovery improves each day.

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Hope you are doing well! The crunchy sound in the ear and tightness in the jaw started getting better for me about a week or two after surgery. I had headaches for about the first two weeks as well. I am 17 days post surgery now and I still have swelling in my throat and a slight choking sensation, but it is finally starting to get a little better each day. Your swelling might increase some and things might flare up, but overall you will start feeling better and better.

I do have ‘first bite syndrome’, which feels different than I was expecting after reading other people’s experiences. For me when I start to look at food that makes my mouth water, or taste food, it just feels like strange sensation from where my salivary gland would be, almost like a strong tingling but nothing too horrible and I wouldn’t describe it as painful really at all. It seems to be getting less intense each day and doesn’t bother me too much.

As you probably have read or been told, your body will continue to heal for weeks and months, and even after a year. My neck and the bottom half of my ear were numb after surgery, but my ear has regained sensation for the most part. I feel a jolt from my nerves ‘waking up’ in my neck occasionally, which started at about day 5, but this also isn’t really painful, just startling when it happens.

I do have soreness still, and I make sure to move my head to look to the sides, and up and down to keep my range of motion so that things don’t tighten up. I would definitely gently stretch like this, don’t be afraid that you will hurt anything, it would be worse if you kept your head in an absolutely neutral position all the time.


Hi SS67,

Sorry for jumping in late. I missed this thread somehow. The posts above have given you thorough advice as to what to expect & how to manage your post op recovery. I wanted to say that I’m really surprised Dr. Delacure didn’t have you schedule a post op follow-up appt. Most doctors follow-up a week or two after surgery then at a month or 6 weeks post op if you’re local to their practice. Did you get a chance to talk to talk to him after you were home from surgery to get your questions answered?

I also hope he was willing to extend your pain meds Rx. It makes such a difference in ability to heal if you’re not in terrible pain.

Please let us know how you’re doing now. We’re here for you. :hugs:

Hi again. Time to update. Firstly, be kind, I have many of the same sensations that you are describing. My jaw still has a pins and needles sensation when I touch it, my ear is fine. Moving my jaw causes some pain still, but nothing terrible. I went back to Dr. Delacure today for my post-op appointment. Two.weeks after the surgery and he took my stitches out. The scar looks great but there’s still quite a bit of swelling. I still feel like I have a sore throat and the choking sensation is likely from inside swelling but I had it before the surgery as well. I hope to return to work in person on Monday. I’ve been working long hours from home- I have a very demanding job. Mostly off of pain meds but I was on them almost religiously for the first week and even the second week had to take a few here and there. I wouldn’t say I feel great yet, some days, I still feel pretty lousy, but I am slowly getting back to myself. Still much more tired than usual. All in all, I was thrilled with Dr. Delacure though. Next appointment in a couple of months. Will keep you all posted.

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Thank you for the update SS67! Glad you’re noticing some improvement. I felt tired until 2 months post op then it lifted & I felt very normal for the first time in ages! The fact that you’ve already been back to work (even if at home) indicates you’re doing pretty well as many people can’t even consider going back to work until 2-3 weeks after surgery.

I’m sure as your swelling continues to decrease, you’ll notice your symptoms gradually disappearing. As Jules & others have noted, it can take up to a year or more for the nerves to heal & symptoms to be gone. Do your best to rest/take it easier when you feel really tired rather than pushing through as that will also help you recover faster.

Glad that you’re pleased so far, hope you keep healing well, & going back to work is not too difficult compared to home…you might find things worsen a bit, try to take it as easy as you can while you’re home. Best wishes!