Missing styliod process.?

When I was originally diagnosed 8 years ago I was found to be bi lateral. I had the left side removed and could clearly feel a pinching or object on the left side. When symptoms became worse on the right side I went to discuss with my doctor to have it removed. With additional imaging it was found to have disappeared. I had a second mri and was told they could not find the styliod process on the right side once again. Currently, my right side is inflamed by my ear and I have developed tinnitus on my right side. My question is has anyone’s styliod process disappeared on it own or broke off?

Hi ann,

Your situation is a bit mysterious for sure! Styloids do break & depending on how small the pieces are, they can move out of place from the regular styloid position. I wouldn’t think they would just disappear though. They should still be visible as smaller pieces in your neck. It would be worthwhile having another CT scan to check to see how things have changed on the right side since your last one. It is possible, if yours broke that there is a piece now causing the symptoms you currently have.

Thank you for your response … it just seems a bit crazy I can feel it but it is not showing up on a scan

I wonder if the scan needs to be done from a different angle. Perhaps it’s behind or on top of some other bony structure so doesn’t look exactly like what the radiologist is expecting.

Hi ann,

That doesn’t sound crazy to me… Usually in an MRI bones - like the SP - can’t be seen. Only structures that contain a lot of water molecules are shown in a MRI scan, because it works with super strong magnetic fields, which change the orientation of these molecules. This change of orientation is measured then.
When you want to look at the styloids or bony structures you would need to have a CT scan or at least a CBCT or an (panoramic) x-ray.
My styloids are visible very well on a CT scan but I can’t see them on my MRI scan too.
Good luck!

Best regards.


Yes, I agree that if you’ve only had MRIs, it would be unlikely to show on that, CTs are better for calcified structures, so if you’ve not had a CT that may well be the answer!

Clearly I didn’t read your post well. For some reason, I thought you’d had a CT scan along the way. I totally agree w/ TheDude & Jules. A CT scan is what you need.

I hope they will do a CT scan for you. It sounds really painful!

Thank you for your replies…I had a new CT scan this week and brought all my records to a expert at reading scans. As it turns out my 2010, 2012, 2016, and 2021 ct scans show ES on my right side though the 2012 and 2016 scans were miss read by 2 different hospitals and 2 different doctors as not showing ES. I don’t understand how 4 separate doctors could have mis read my scans. If anyone knows of a specialist in ES in South Florida I would appreciate a recommendation. I am saw a doctor listed in Westin on this sight but would love to hear from someone who has had surgery with them.

Thank you


Here is the link to our current US Doctors List. I don’t know which doctor you’re referring to, but you can click on the magnifying glass icon (above right) & type any doctor’s name in the search box & hit return. A list of posts where that doctor was mentioned will come up & you can read what others have to say about that doctor. If you want to send a private message to someone who has seen a specific doctor, click on that person’s screen name or the icon next to the screen name & a page will come up where you can start a private message.

I hope this helps.