Left side Styloid and SH ligament removal with Dr Samji Mon 1/6

Wish me luck - Dr Samji is doing the left side procedure this Monday (1/6/2020) and the right side in another 3 months. I’ll post under this topic to let people know my experience. Happy New Year!!

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It’s good to be getting rid of it! Hope all goes well; have you read up on what to expect?
Will be praying for you!

Thank you! This site has been amazing, and I’ve definitely read a lot of the surgery recovery stories which is helpful.

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WOW! sfbear, your left stylohyoid ligament has a lot of calcification & your right styloid is plenty long. Which side is Dr. Samji doing first? He didn’t do my most symptomatic side first but the side he thought was most critical because of the angle of the styloid. He made a good decision there even though I argued about it at the time.

You will feel TONS better when both surgeries are behind you. Lucky you that he spaces the surgeries 3 mos apart now. When he did mine, he required 6 mos between. Glad you’ve read up on what to expect post op. We’re here for you if you have questions beyond what you’ve read.

I presume your have your wedge pillow, gel ice packs & food to blend in case it hurts to chew/swallow post op. Stick w/ your pain med regimen for at least the first 5 days & follow the steroid directions carefully for the best results & keep that ice coming!!

I’ll be praying for you tomorrow & hoping for the best possible outcome.


Quick update - surgery went well yesterday and I’m home recovering. Pain isn’t too bad, but I’m taking percocet! A bit numb around the incision and jaw, but nothing radiating to the face. I know that can change over the next couple of days as swelling continues. I’ve kept my head elevated and have been icing quite a bit. I got out for a walk today, so got some fresh air and stretched my legs. Fingers crossed that I keep progressing.

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Thanks for the uodate! Really pleased that surgery has gone well, & that you’re feeling up to a walk! Hope that the swelling’s not too bad & that you heal well! :+1::pray:

WOW! You look great for being one day post op, sfbear! I think it’s good that your doctor recommends starting short walks right away. Keeps the blood circulating. Sounds like you’re being a good & compliant patient. Keep up the pain meds & ice at least through the first week. It will make a big difference. By the end of next week you should start really noticing some positive changes beyond what you may already feel. The biggest key to quicker healing is listening to your body & resting when it says rest rather than pushing through fatigue & pain to feel like you’re accomplishing something. You’ll need to do that for at least a month & perhaps beyond.

Do remember that in bilateral cases, once one styloid/ligament is removed the other can become significantly more symptomatic. Don’t let the idea you’ve had a failed first surgery enter your head. The second side can even affect the surgical side giving the illusion that you’re not healing.

Take care & take it easy.


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Please keep us updated!!

Day 3 post-surgery and I’m feeling pretty good. I did Tylenol only yesterday, but pain increased last evening pretty suddenly, I think I was talking too much. I was scheduled to take a Percocet at 9PM and felt fine this morning. Today I’ve transitioned to Arthritis Strength Tylenol + Prednisone only. Left half of my jaw is still pretty numb, but that’s to be expected. Hasn’t spread anywhere else to my face. Sleeping is a bit rough staying on my back at a 30 degree angle (…ish). Still doing soft foods as I can’t open my mouth wide and chewing is a bit painful. I’m getting to move around a bit and get outside for fresh air. Still keeping my heart rate low and sitting with my head and feet up for most of the day.

Here’s me, will be great to get a shower!!

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Sounds like you’re doing well! When you feel better than expected it’s easy to overdo things, others have found talking did cause pain post surgery. Never had that but I did find opening my mouth wide & chewing hurt for nearly 2 weeks. The numbness should go with time although I have a couple of patches which stayed numb, better than pain!
Hope things keep going well for you!

Thanks for the update. Sounds like you’re doing remarkably well for being less than a week post op! So glad to hear it!!

Yeah, sleeping at that angle was killer for me. I had pillows on top of my wedge pillow to steepen the angle & pillows on each side of my head to keep me from turning my head too far to the side while sleeping - a term I use loosely here as I think that happend in fits & spurts & for no extended time till later in my recovery. Since you’re doing so well, you may be able to “wean off” the wedge pillow around the time you finish the course of prednisone. It’s a play-it-by-ear thing. I needed head elevation for close to two months but others for only a week.

Again, great to see you doing so well! Just for encouragement, I’m training for a trail ultramarathon this March. My ES surgeries paid off big time for me & I expect yours will do likewise for you.

Hi - day 4 post-op. I’m continuing to improve and am able to move around more. Sleep is still a bit of an issue, but I mastered the side-sleeping at 30 degree position at 3AM and then slept until 6:30AM, which made a huge difference. Around the incision and left jawline is still very numb, but that’s expected. My throat definitely feels strange and very asymmetrical, like my hyoid bone is crooked. I got my first jolt of nerve pain this afternoon, but nothing major. I’m able to chew fairly well. Took a shower today and later in the day the steri-strips came off.

I realize that there’s a wide range of recovery and it seems mine is on the very easy end of the spectrum. Dr Samji said that men will often have easier recovery than women based on larger skull and neck areas - my wife would concur that I am thick-skulled. I’m going to keep posting since it’s probably good to have this for people to see, but I’m sensitive to the fact that this is frequently more difficult than what my experience has been.

Still resting most of the time, which I’ll continue to do. My follow-up appointment with Dr Samji is this upcoming Tues.


Keep us updated that incision looks SO great

Thanks for the continued encouragement! It’s great to hear about the trail ultramarathon this March, that is hard core!!

Great that it’s going well! It’s fine to post, especially if it is an easier recovery than some have, as otherwise all members read is stories of difficult recoveries which could put them off having surgery.

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Agreed - Your incision looks AMAZING! Dr. Samji does awesome work - and w/ what Jules said: We need recovery stories like yours as it does especially encourage new forum members. You’re right that the numbness & other odd feelings in your throat, etc., will resolve w/ time.

Enjoyed the comment about your wife’s opinion of you. I’m sure my husband feels the same about me at times!!

Hooray for winning the wedge pillow battle & getting some sleep. Sleeping will get easier as time goes by & good work resting as needed these days.

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Just a quick update from day 6, yesterday and today continued to show progress and I’m moving around more. Still feeling pretty tired though and am sitting around a lot. I have more bouts of sharp pain around my neck and jaw, probably every 3 or 4 hours. Dr Samji did a great job with the incision and stitching.

The incision is longer than I had expected, but it was very well done. My wife is saying I have to ask for him to make the right side the same length for symmetry!

Saturday (day 5)

Sunday (day 6)

It’s healing really well! Sometimes you men have more problems with healing because of hair growth, but yours looks like it’s doing well! Give it a while & you won’t see it at all !

My post op fatigue is what dragged me down for the longest. My ES symptoms were sufficiently resolved for me to “jump” back into my life by abt 6 weeks post op, but the fatigue lasted 8 weeks. I did a 15k running event in Golden Gate Park @ 6 weeks post op. BIG mistake…I ended up walking the whole second half. It may be the thing that dragged my fatigue on longer. That is to say even when you start feeling pretty good, you may still need to be a little more low key for awhile. Just listen to your body. It will guide you.

Your incision looks AMAZING! If you want to see pics of my healed post op scars, please PM me.

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Wow is right! So good to hear the updates and that you are recovering well! Given Im going to be having surgery with him in the near future…it makes it less scary. Thanks so much for the pix.

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