One Year Post Surgery Bilateral Styloidectomy Update: Performed by Trevor Hackman at UNC

Today (well yesterday technically) marks one year since my bilateral styloidectomy.


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Some of my first scans showing my elongated styloids.

While I wish I could tell you that the surgery solved all of my symptoms, I cannot.
However I can tell you that after my surgery my life was worth living again.

The link below is my first post in the group, and then the post after my surgery following that.
https://forum.livingwitheagle.org/t/my-styloid-processes-are-both-longer-than-6cm/9692?u=asumhannah

https://forum.livingwitheagle.org/t/bilateral-styloidectomy-complete-dr-hackman-team-did-amazing/10300

Most recently my worst issue seems to be something involving circulation or my nerves and I have a nerve conduction study at UNC next week! Anyone else reading this, do you have constant tingling in your hands and lower back? it hurts and it might be related to my psoriasis but idk.

Anyway, Happy 1 year to me, I guess?

After taking a medical leave of absence from college to have my surgery and recover I will finally be graduating this December with my Bachelors of Science in Economics! :slight_smile:

Thank you all for the amazing support you always provided, special shout out too @Isaiah_40_31 , @Jules , @adriene61 , and everyone who has reached out and been there for me! :smiley:
It’s especially hard because I have no “family” and well I just truly appreciate y’all!

Here is a little timeline progression that I could make through my photos, lol:







Above photo shows my tongue issue after surgery, but it resolved after probably like half a year.










Love, Hannah :heavy_heart_exclamation:

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Congratulations on your graduation! You have done amazingly well :clap: :tada:
So pleased that surgery has helped make your life worthwhile again; it’s great that you can focus on the positives even if everything’s not been healed…there is still time for some nerves to heal and settle down so you may notice improvements even now!
Thank you for your update; it’s great to hear from you & that you’re moving on with your life :hugs: :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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Hi Hannah,

I am glad you’re doing so much better! Congratulations on getting your degree! That is extra impressive with what you went through. You are obviously a warrior. I hope you can figure out the rest of your issues.

Best wishes for you !

Adriene

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@Asumhannah - I :heart_eyes: your photo gallery! Your incisions have healed up very nicely!! I am sorry that new problems have cropped up. We’ve so often seen on here that those w/ ES have other things going on & once ES is dealt with the symptoms of what remains become more obvious or more of a problem so another search for answers begins.

I’m really glad you’re getting a nerve study done. Tingly hands can possibly come from spinal nerves in the cervical area being irritated or compressed, & lower back would possibly come from a thoracic or lumbar disc bulge which can compress spinal nerves in the lower back. I expect all of those areas will be checked.

I’m super impressed by your tenacity in going back & finishing up your college degree after having a major surgery - especially a bilateral ES surgery. It’s great to know that has helped you so much & hopefully the present nerve problem will be an easier fix. I’m so glad for your update & hope that with your BS in Econ, you can land a dream job & have a long & happy career.

:hugs: :gift_heart:

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@Asumhannah Before I transitioned into the medical device industry I was a chiropractor and practiced for 6 years. The tingling you’re feeling in your fingers and lower back could be from your spinal nerves. In your neck there is something called a brachial plexus which is all of your cervical spinal nerves. Have you had a car accident or had any trauma to your neck? Have you been sitting at a computer for a long period of time? The spinal nerves correspond to the vertebrae. For example, if it’s C6 you’ll feel tingling or numbness in your thumb and fore finger. C7 will be your middle finger and C8 (C7 vertebrae) will be in your ring finger and pinky. This can indicate a few things. It could be a pinched nerver that a chiropractor can heal with an adjustment. It could also be a bulging disc that’s putting pressure on the nerve or compressing the spinal cord. Physical therapy and chiropractic can help it. I would suggest seeing a chiropractor and getting an MRI. Your lower back would be the same issue. Sometimes it’s not serious and can be helped from a simple chiropractic adjustment. I always recommend getting an x-ray before being adjusted. If you see a chiropractor who wants to adjust you without taking x-rays I say “run”. Always have x-rays taken. There is something called an “arcuate foramen” where the ligament from the Occiput to C2 calcifies. The vertabral artery runs through this calcification in some people. If you are adjusted while having an arcuate forament it can cause a blackout, dizzines or even a stroke. So Always have an x-ray before getting adjusted. Tingling in the hands and lower back can be a simple pinched nerve.

I applaud you for going through everything without family. It’s so hard being on your own with just you and pushing forward. You need so much strength and please be so proud of yourself! I’m in that situation and some days I just need a hug. I’m here to answer any questions I can for you and help in any way I can with the knowledge I have.

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@Danielle1 it must be mentioned that @Asumhannah has unfused posterior arch of the Atlas. Any cervical manipulation might accidentally trigger significant issues.

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@vdm Thank you for letting me know this. @Asumhannah Please do not consider any type of chiropractic adjustment. I’d like to research this anomoly.

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Well, in general high velocity neck manipulations should be contraindicated for people with elongated styloid processes before the surgery, and even more strictly contraindicated after the surgery, in my opinion.
The styloid processes might be elongated (we don’t know the real cause, however, there is some correlation) as a result of body’s attempt to stabilize the neck due to some injury or hypermobility, and the surgery removes this “aid”.

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@vdm I have to disagree with you there unfortunately. The calcification and elongation of the Styoloids has little to do with trying to stabilize the neck. There are hypothesis and publications around calcification following trauma and surgery. In terms of cervical adjustments, a chiropractor can adjust a single bone. If the Styloid extends past C1 that would definitely be a contraindication to adjust. That’s why I always advocate for x-rays to be taken prior to adjusting. Cervical instability has to do with the ligaments. You can have a spondylolis, a spondylolysis or a spondylolisthesis. It all depends on the severity in terms of MM.

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I think instabilities may also be seen as one of the sources of constant traumatic events, as the structures go beyond the “designated” ROMs and start impinging/affecting other structures they are not supposed to.
Thus causing chronic inflammation of the tissue leading to variety of the problems including calcific tendonitis, calcium deposits etc.

^^^ just my personal opinion

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Regular X-rays rarely properly show elongated styloid processes or calcified ligaments, they often tend to hide in shadows of mandible and cervical vertebrae

^^^ just my personal opinion based on analysis of dozens if not hundreds X-rays, CT scans, panoramic X-rays and a few MRIs

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@vdm My apologies. I wasn’t thinking in terms of ES - needing a CT scan. And how right you are! I could kick myself. 3 years ago I came acrodd Eagles. I only saw one article and it suggested a lateral cervical x-ray to see Eagles. I ran to a chiropractor friend and we took a lateral cervical and didn’t see the styloid so I excuded it as a possibility. 3 years later I read many publications and found this forum and realized a CT scan was needed. I wish I knew better then. My styloids have grown and pain is so much worse. I’m here now and have been diagnosed. I feel like kicking myself all the time for excluding it 3 years ago when I didn’t know any better.

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Given that elongated styloids often go together with the neck pain, for which chiropractors are seen, how many patients chiropractors, osteopaths and careless physiotherapists potentially endanger? Hard to say, but that’s always a huge risk.

Elongated styloid processes now are slowly being recognised as one of the possible causes of sudden carotid arterial dissections. Which may lead to TIA or not, because if the tear in the artery’s wall is asymptomatic, barely anyone would seek help AND get a CTA/angiogram to see the tear(s) even if they do…

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Omgosh! Thank you so much for coming back on to update us all!! And a huge congratulations to you on graduation!!! Super happy for you!!! :relaxed:
Absolutely love the photos you shared! You look absolutely amazing! The scars are barely noticeable! I wouldn’t even notice them unless you pointed them out as you did. That’s awesome! Im sorry to hear it hasn’t resolved all of your issues however I am happy that it made things better. I do hope and pray that you get full relief of all your symptoms. Good luck with your upcoming appointment!
I am a week and a day post op and am just at the very beginning of my hopeful recovery.
All best always!

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Hi Hannah, many congrats on college success! I get tingling in hands sometimes and also a painful area near base of spine. A medic explained to me that could be from abnormal pressure inside the spine (mine is caused by blood trapped inside head). Diagnosis of that spinal pressure is by lumbar puncture, although I have yet to be given one of those myself. The hands are nerve related for me. I find that using a Helios device on my hands for a few minutes soon fixes the problem. Of course there could be lots of reasons causing your symptoms. Glad things did get better for you post op. Take care of yourself. D :slightly_smiling_face:

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