I am a new member to this support group, and I first want to thank all of you members who have posted so much helpful information on this site. It was a lifesaver for me as I searched for answers to my health issues and it was where I ultimately came to conclusion that Eagle Syndrome was definitely responsible for my many symptoms.
My journey with health issues began July 2014 when I fell at work and ended up with a huge contusion on my right knee. One week after my fall, I began feeling dizzy & off balance, and shortly after began severe vertigo. The vertigo got so bad I ended up in the ER. At the time it was a nightmare, but looking back it was blessing because in the ER they did a CT Angiography and I was diagnosed with Eagle Syndrome. When I asked about it, the doctor simply told me that my styloid process was longer than most peoples, but he didn’t seem too concerned.
The vertigo was attributed to an inner ear issue called BPPV (Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo) very common after a trauma like the fall I had, so I began treatment for BPPV. I saw my ENT (Dr. Scott Newman) and also Physical Therapy where they performed Epley Maneuvers (repositioning maneuvers) to correct the BPPV. Unfortunately, the Epley Maneuvers involved somewhat drastic neck movements which ultimately aggravated the styloid ligaments in my neck. After my last PT visit early December, I began having episodes of almost passing out and ended up in the ER yet another time. Dr. Newman ordered a carotid doppler where I would turn my head far left and far right to see if carotid artery was being impinged. The doppler did not show evidence of impingement, but my symptoms got worse.
Eagle Syndrome put a halt to my life and limited my daily activities so much. I had the typical neck pain, shoulder pain, ear pain & pressure, swallowing discomfort, choking sensation & headaches every day. But the most debilitating for me was that I could not turn my neck at all, or I would be on the verge of passing out. The slightest neck movement had to be avoided, so I could not take walks or drive or even be a passenger in a car. But I want to give hope to anyone out there who is suffering like I was....this can be fixed. You can have a normal life again.
That is when God made it clear to me what I needed to do. The Lord spoke to me in Nahum 1:12 when He said that He would “break the yoke from my neck and tear my shackles away”. I contacted Dr. Newman right away and was scheduled for surgery in 2 weeks (3-3-15) on Oahu. I had bilateral styloidectomy 5 weeks ago, where 4 cm of ligament were removed from my right and 6 cm from my left. The styloid ligaments were completely ossified (turned to bone). I literally had sticks in my neck! And the right ligament was laying across my internal carotid artery, which no doubt caused my many episodes of almost passing out and constant lightheadedness. Dr. Newman said I had styloid–carotid artery syndrome, or more commonly called the “vascular” type of Eagle Syndrome.
I do have some temporary left sided facial paralysis that is improving every day because he had to stretch my facial nerve out of the way to get to my hyoid bone (I had a face lift cut due to the concern with my carotid artery). At 5 weeks post-op, my smile has returned and my left eye is blinking about 75% (at first it wouldn’t close at all)....but I am told I will be 100% recovered shortly...Praise God!
So if you suffer from Eagle syndrome, do not hesitate to have the surgery. And if you are in Hawaii and have Kaiser insurance....see Dr. Scott Newman! He is awesome! I was the first patient with Kaiser anywhere in Hawaii to have had this type of surgery, and I thank Dr Newman from the bottom of my heart for his willingness to perform the surgery for me! And I thank God for removing the shackles from my neck & setting me free! All above mentioned symptoms are gone with the exception of some minor vertigo when I lie back in bed at night. But this is so minor compared to the major symptoms I had that prevented me from living. Now I can walk & drive & do yoga & enjoy life! Praise Him!
Isaiah 40:31 “those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
God bless all of my fellow Eagles Syndrome friends!