Hyoid Bone Syndrome

I have recently been diagnosed with Hyoid bone syndrome by my ENT at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center Columbus Ohio. The horn of the left side of my hyoid bone is longer and pressing against the spine as well as nerves and tendons causing symptoms.

Along my journey, I met a pain and sleep specialists who says that my neck vertebrae are unnaturally straight. This could be due to bad posture or some previous head trauma.
He suggests ultrasound e-stim therapy along with various exercises that can return the curve and put some space in between the horn of my hyoid bone and my vertebrae. I spoke to the ENT and a voice pathologist (I’m a professional singer) and they haven’t ruled it out but they don’t know if it would help. Does anybody have thoughts? Has anyone tried chiropractors as an alternative? The surgery is risky and my ENT has not operated on this specific sort of problem.

Hi greensco,

I’m going to respond to both your post here & on the other thread. I do agree the greater horns of your hyoid look very long & the left in particular. The pink thing off the tip of your left styloid could be a bit of calcified stylohyoid ligament which for some reason came out a different color than the styloid process. Alternatively it could be an artifact in the imaging as Jules suggested.

As far as alternate therapies go, it is possible to re-create the curve in the cervical spine (neck) but it can be a slow painful process. Depending on how close to your spine the left side of the hyoid is, making extra space may only help when your head is in certain positions but other positions may cause symptoms to continue to flare.

As w/ ES, Hyoid Bone Syndrome recovery will only truly be able to occur if the offending bone is shortened or removed. As long as it remains, it will irritate nerves, muscles & other soft tissues in the area. Your hyoid bone is mobile & moves up & down & a bit side to side when you breathe, swallow, talk, sing, cough, sneeze, etc., so you can see it’s potential for continuing to cause trouble if not shortened.

There are ENT doctors who specifically do hyoid bone surgeries. We have a couple on our Doctor’s list with one of them being at Stanford Hospital in CA. Can’t remember where the other one is.

Here is a link w/ posts from people who talked about hyoid bone syndrome/surgery on this forum. It should give you some answers. Search results for 'hyoid bone surgery' - Living with Eagle


That makes sense
The issue with surgery is the risks are so high I’m not sure I’d want to take them yet.
I will follow you link to see about it!


I’m wondering if you ever proceeded with the surgery. I don’t have Eagle’s but I do have hyoid bone syndrome. The right hyoid bone is elongated, sitting back too far/too close to the spine, and is likely rubbing the spine. I have Lordosis (natural straightening of the cervical spine, as well). I have congenital c2-c3 cervical fusion so I may be be able to restore the natural cervical spine curve.

I’m wondering what you decided to do. Did you proceed with surgery? Or did you do PT? Let me know how you’re getting along. Thanks. I see Dr. deSilva at OSU, as well.

Hi there!
I did not do surgery. I have been managing it fairly well with alot of yoga, acupuncture, hot water massage, being mindful of my posture, and certain stretching exercises. There is also a certain ultrasound device that is supposed to soften muscle and reduce the calcification of this ligament. I use that maybe weekly. Surgery comes with a lot of risks to the nerves that control the voice and that didn’t seem worth it. My symptoms, (although still persistent) are much better and I am still able to sing just fine despite the inevitable occasional pain. I know how difficult it can be !

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Which ENT did you see at OSU? I see a physician at OSU as well.

I’ve seen all three of the main Staff at James voice and swallow clinic. I’ve also gone to see an ENT through Ohio Health.
It seems that OSU would be the best option should you decide on surgery. I thought about it alot but, for me, it’s just not worth the risk. I am a professional singer though. It might not be as much a risk for you.


Thank you for the information!

@greensco ~

It’s really good to know that you’ve been able to manage your symptoms & avoid surgery. It makes sense that you wouldn’t want to take the risk of losing your voice & thus your profession. I applaud you for being resourceful & keeping up the exercises/therapies that are making a difference for you. I hope they continue to keep you highly functional & out of the operating room.


Good you can manage your symptoms yourself :hugs: