New doctor in California, Dr Alessi. First appointment follow up. Reactions?

Hi everyone,

I just saw a new doctor in Southern California, Beverly Hills to be precise, and he seemed quite nice and relatively knowledgeable about Eagle Syndrome. I haven't had surgery yet, but I can recommend that people in California check him out. He seems open minded and willing to do the surgery for this condition. He also seems very interested in figuring out complicated problems.

He noted the significant calcification of my stylohyoid ligaments where they attach to the hyoid, but the styloids themselves are within supposedly "normal" range (just under 3cm either side). He didn't necessarily seem sure that that was the cause of my problem but he admitted they could be causing problems. That is good enough for me. I just want to have someone remove these bones and do a good job of it.

I've posted my scans before but I'll post them again just for reference. My symptoms are VERY bad, and primarily vascular. I am completely sure that the carotid and or jugular vein are being compressed significantly, more on my right side, and constantly. My feeling is that it is the calcified ligament more than the styloid itself that is causing the problem.

My symptoms are:

1. Swelling in neck behind jaw.

2. Sharp stabbing pain in back of throat

3. Throbbing pressure inside skull, throughout my head and behind my eyes

4. Inability to turn my head almost any direction without horrible pain, numbness and weakness.

5. Shoulders and arms get weak and tired easily.

There are many more symptoms, too many to list. I get the feeling both from personal experience and from what I have read from others, that it is VERY hard to get a good diagnosis of vascular eagle syndrome. Most doctors don't really acknowledge it or appreciate the vascular compression problems that can develop.

Is this the case in your experience?

It is frustrating because the symptoms related to a compressed carotid or jugular vein can be so bad. There are even cases of dissections or stroke related to Styloids. Anyway, I am certain there is something significant going on cardiovascularly in my neck, head and shoulder area. I feel a constant pulsating swelling, like a hose that has a kink, like a significant structural problem with the blood flow in that part of my body. Has anyone experienced something like this before?

And I know I've asked before but if any of you have any experience of vascular eagles in particular or if you think my scans could indicate carotid or jugular compression, I'd appreciate any comments you could give me.

Thanks so much.

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HI jrodefeld I believe the bottom arrows are pointing at are the greater cornu of the hyoid bone and not the styloid ligaments, so that looks normal to me unless the are enlongated !!! Just my theory !!!

All I can say is that if you are symptomatic, it doesn't matter what they look like. Take them out and then you will know for sure. If you have a complicated case because of vascular involvement, please get a really good surgeon with experience with this surgery.

The doctor is associated with Cedar Sinai Hospital in LA.
Here is a link to paper written by chief of surgery and other doctors at Cedars on vascular eagles.

Interesting. It's like you have reverse ES w/ the calcifications starting at your hyoid bone & going up toward your styloid processes rather than going from styloids down. Have you had surgery yet?