Hyoid bone movement experienced with styloidectomy?

I have an upcoming surgery scheduled to remove my left styloid but the left side of my hyoid is sticking into my larynx area and I’m worried about how this will change following surgery. When the tension is removed from the ligament on the left, does anyone think the hyoid could potentially push in more on the left because the direction will only be influenced by the remaining right side or is it more likely that it will relax on that side and straighten out? A shift even further to the left would not be good since it is slowing the passage of food already and causing dizziness. I can make it shift the other direction to alleviate the discomfort and dizziness on the left side but my surgeon advised me not to do this since it’s easy to injure the hyoid. The right styloid is about the same length as left, but I can’t get them removed at the same time. So I am doubtful that one of the styloids is pulling the hyoid in one direction but I’m not sure. Just a bit nervous about the thought of having a potentially worse situation for the next several months…if not longer. What if neither styloid is causing the instability!!! I don’t have any previous neck injuries that I can recall.

Hopefully those with calcification of the ligaments the hyoid end can chip in; obviously we’re not doctors on here so giving medical advice is out! But I would’ve thought that releasing the tension from the ligament would hopefully stop the hyoid pulling innthat direction? What has your surgeon said, does he think the ligament is pulling the hyoid bone over?

Hi, @Jules. The surgeon did not say anything about the hyoid or calcified ligaments yet. I didn’t see any calcification on my ligaments. I guess my fear is that since there will still be tension on the other side after the first surgery that the hyoid might get pulled in the wrong direction. Do people in between ES surgeries ever complain of hyoid issues? If not, I wonder what keeps the hyoid from going wonky with one detached side? Since mine is already crooked, I didn’t want it to get worse. I caved yesterday and moved it to the other side to stop the dizziness but it has moved back to applying too much pressure on the left again today.

Hi redbird,

I think SewMomma’s scenario might be applicable in your case. Her hyoid was tethered due to 2 calcified ligaments & was making swallowing very uncomfy & difficult. Getting one side released has eased the hyoid problem for her even though she still has some symptoms on the remaining tethered side. I would hope you will get the same happy result. It would be a good idea for you to express your concerns to your surgeon prior to surgery so he can give you a more specific opinion regarding the hyoid bone problem. I think you got the advice you did because the hyoid is such a skinny, fragile little thing & is easily broken.

In bilateral cases, symptoms from the remaining side often flare between surgeries. I suspect they will be different symptoms than the hyoid bone is causing if it is released by the first one.

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Hi there!

I definitely am in the “hyoid” boat. in fact, the very, very first time I had a real indication something was wrong, my local ENT thought it was just “normal hyoid movement” that was making my click. I had to stop him and ask him what that word was he just said. Hyoid. Who had every heard of that thing before Eagle syndrome? Not me!!! Anyway the dude was like “yeah see, mine can move and click around on surrounding things too”. He literally moved his for me and I was not amused. Amazingly I would hear that from two other physicians. Seriously people - I’m not impressed with you putting your hand on your throat and moving it side to side. Mine gets snagged with EVERY swallow of food, water and saliva. You’re MAKING yours move around. Mine is messed up without me touching it! So could you shut up please? Great, thanks.

Ok I’m back from that walk down memory lane. So the tethering thing was/is my issue. Is the click from the ligament catching on something or hyoid being in the wrong place due to the calcification and catching on something? Even my wonderful surgeon is not so sure. I had the video swallow study tech watch in slow motion. It was impossible to “see” what I was feeling. Anyway after those two doctors said it was “normal”, I was obsessed with playing with it. I thought - I’ll just move it around until it stops clicking! I moved it side to side all the time. Many, many times a day. No change.

So, the right side got taken out in Jan. 3 cm from hyoid up - that’s about where my calcification stopped and my styloids are small little things so they got to stay. Ever since then, I refuse to touch the hyoid area - I’m totally scared! I did accidentally push on it the other day when I was trying to get all up in my remaining click’s business. But overall I’m planning on not touching the hyoid much til the other side is gone. There’s nothing weird about the one side being gone though. It’s not like worse or anything. I certainly have no sensation of lopsidedness or anything like that. I still have the feeling my tongue is being pulled down and hoping the second removal will let they hyoid kind of float where it wants to float again.

I see your concerns. It might have to be one of those faith situations where you just have to step out and trust the process of having one done at a time. When is your surgery date?

Thank you so much for sharing your story. Love your humor:) I hope that I’ll get a similar result but I’m worried because my CT doesn’t show calcification of the ligaments. So I guess I just have to believe that the styloid length is causing the ligaments to have an altered angle and they are somehow throwing off the stability of the hyoid because of this. I can feel the whole left side of it plain as day sticking way into my larynx or whatever that area is called way down there. Nothing palpable on the right side. It’s just very crooked like it’s stuck on something I cant feel on the opposite (right) side. Like it’s not just lazily off-center. It’s pushing very hard into the left side of my larynx. It’s about 1/3 of the way through it (covered with skin obviously). Feels awful and this is why swallowing sucks. Maybe it’s just the left side submandibular gland pushing it inward. I’ve noticed that eating can sometimes pop it back to a more neutral position, but it will pop back to the uncomfortable, half-choking (I guess 1/3, lol) position afterwards. Sigh. Ready for this to get better. First surgery is in 13 days.

That just sounds plain awful. Good for you for knowing your body so well. You’re an expert of this crazy anatomical stuff going on with you right now. It’s definitely all connected so even if the problem originates up top - it’s going to travel right down its path.
How much time can you take off work to recover?
Is your surgery on April Fool’s Day? This whole thing has certainly been like a bad prank for you.

I’ll take off 2 weeks. Yes, it’s April 1. What luck! Lol.

Two weeks is good. I felt pretty good the on the 15th day which was when I got out and went to church. You’ll be functioning good enough by then. :+1:

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