Hyoid Bone Surgery

Hey guys so I’ve been struggling for nearly a year now with a thudding sensation in my throat when I swallow. I’m only 18 so it has been quite hard to cope with this at such a young age. Anyways I was recommended to see a good surgeon in Auckland, New Zealand, and he suggested taking the greater horn off the hyoid bone on the right side. I did a little bit of research into it and it sounded quite scary but I didn’t know what else to do so I got the surgery done 6 days ago. They took the whole greater horn apparently which was 40% of the whole hyoid. I haven’t really been able to eat or drink much since the surgery and now I am noticing a very uncomfortable pulling of my throat, when I swallow my throat seems to jerk to the side that I got the surgery on, making it harder than before the surgery to eat or drink. I was just wondering if anyone knows anything about this and will it get easier in time, or is there anyway to fix this. It is driving me insane and I can’t imagine living with this, to the point where I find myself contemplating suicide a lot, as I can’t inagine enjoying my life as it is. If anyone has any suggestions please please let me know!

Hi Jarrod,

First let me say that you’ve just had major surgery. Even ES surgery is considered major surgery. You have many nerves & much vascular tissue in your neck which can get disrupted when you have surgery in that area. It will likely take a couple of months for your body to heal & up to a year for any nerves that are damaged to heal. You need to give your body time to adjust to things. When you have surgery in the neck/throat area, there is always post op swelling. Many surgeons prescribe prednisone as an anti-inflammatory for the patient to take for several weeks post op to help w/ the swelling. It’s very likely you’re having trouble eating & drinking because your throat is swollen. Keep your intake to thick liquids like smoothies w/ yogurt, fruit, protein powder, veggies, etc. I couldn’t eat normally for about a month after my first ES surgery. My meals got put in a blender w/ some almond milk to make a “shake”. As odd as it may sound, meat, veggies, etc. blended together were pretty tasty. Sugar causes inflammation so you might do better w/ savory shakes as opposed to super sweet ones.

Have you been back to see your surgeon to ask about this new sensation you’re feeling in your throat? He should be able to tell you what to expect as you heal.

There is another member on this forum - Aussie77 - who had a similar surgery & similar post op symptoms. He lives in Australia. You could try privately messaging him by clicking the Members link above. Type Aussie77 in the search bar. When the name comes up, click on it & in the right corner of the box containing the name is a blue bar that says “Message”. Click on that & type your message. It will be sent to him directly w/o being posted on the site.

I hope this info both encourages & helps you feel less anxiety about your situation.

Hi Jarrod,
Firstly, have you got family to support you- it must be hard going through this at your age. And if you do feel so low you’re not able to imagine living with your current symptoms, please get help for this; talk to your family, or your doctor, and have a look in the emotional support category, as there’s numbers/ websites for organisations which can help you.
There have been a couple of members who’ve had hyoid bone surgery, some a while back, so not sure if they’re still looking at the site, but I found an older discussion, so you could try messaging those members to ask questions, here’s the link:

I do agree with Isaiah; it is very early days for recovery from surgery. I don’t know much about how different the recovery from this surgery id compared to a styloidectomy, but certainly there are quite a few muscle attachments to the hyoid bone, so there will be adjustments to make to swallow etc. I do think that you should discuss this with your doctor, and maybe physiotherapy could help, as there might be exercises you can do to strengthen the hyoid complex remaining.
I did find one research study into the same surgery, and they quoted a reference in the discussion stating the sucess rate being high, 90%. Here’s the link to the study: Clicking hyoid: A rare case report and review
I know it’s not the same surgery, but I was put off having surgery for ES after reading one member’s post a week after his surgery, where he was feeling terrible and wished he’s never had it- luckily I messaged him a month later to see how he was & he said he was much better, glad he’s had it done, & wished that he’d not posted so soon after his op. So give it time, & see if you can get some advice from your doctor.
Best wishes :hugs:

How do you feel now? I had a great horns of my hyoid removed but still have very troubled symptoms.