Pain relief only after surgery on second side

It has been 3.5 months since my wife had external surgery on her left side for Eagle’s Syndrome with Dr. Samji. She has noticed little to no improvement in her symptoms on that side. We are debating whether she should have surgery on her right which also has an elongated styloid. Has anyone experienced relief of symptoms only after having both sides worked on? It seems like we should see some improvement in symptoms on the left before proceeding with the right, but I’m wondering how much the two sides influence each other. Her main symptoms are muscle tightness, spasms and pain in her jaw, temples and back of her neck, as well as pain that radiates from behind her ear along her jaw line to the front of her neck. Thanks for your help.

Hi jdpratt07,
There is no way to tell which styloid is producing the worst of the symptoms in bilateral cases until both styloids are removed. Dr. Samji chose to remove the side I thought was less problematic first (ie the side that was causing less pain) because of the angle at which it was growing & due to its thickness. Post op, I realized it had been causing some serious vascular symptoms which gradually subsided over months. It wasn’t until I had my second styloid removed that all my pain finally went away. Pain can be referred to the opposite side of the body from where the elongated styloid is because of the way the nerves are laid out (& each of us is unique in that regard). I think there’s a good possibility that having the second surgery will make a HUGE difference in how your wife is feeling. The results may not be immediate, but I truly believe she will notice a reduction if not a complete eradication of her symptoms after a second surgery.

Sorry that the surgery hasn’t been successful for your wife, that is unusual, as usually people do notice some improvements. But as long as she’s not been worse after surgery, then personally I would opt for a second surgery; as Isaiah says you can get referred pain, & tension/ stiffness in neck muscles could be aggravating the side done. We can’t give you a definite answer, but if it was me I’d want to know that I’d tried everything to help with the pain. Nerves can take a while to heal too, some members have noticed improvements even up to a year post-op, so 3 months isn’t that long in the grand scheme…
Best wishes to you both though, let us know how she gets on.