Palpate tonsillar fossa - A little piece of the puzzle

Yesterday I went to see my family doctor. In the past he suggested my pain might be from a torn muscle pressing on nerves. Substitute "styloid complex" for "torn muscle" and you have Eagle Syndrome. My last 2 specialist appointments had not gotten me any closer to ruling out ES and my appointment with Dr. Ernest in Tennessee was cancelled, so I asked my doctor to help me.

I gave a mini-lesson on Eagle Syndrome and asked him to 1) have my CT scan evaluated to look the styloid complex in length, calcification, and orientation, and 2) palpate my tonsillar fossa to see what happens. He was open to both ideas and seemed interested in the articles and 3-D CT scan examples. He said it might be a few weeks before he got results from the radiologist.

He then palpated my tonsillar fossa and pain shot into my eye, around my eye, throat, back of neck, and palate. I think I literally jumped away from him. He was not able to feel anything but there was most definitely a pain response. He apologized but I said I was glad he did it. I think this means I am right in pursuing Eagle's and if not Eagle's, it is something in that area. I feel like I have a small amount of validation to go along with my symptoms since almost all medical journal articles mention pain from tonsillar fossa palpation indicates the need to look further at Eagle's.

I spent the rest of the day in bed on pain medication and feeling terrible, but it was worth it to get a tiny piece of the puzzle in place. Thank you to everyone on this site who encouraged me to never give up and to be assertive in asking for what is needed to obtain the correct diagnosis.


Yes, sometimes the pain is well worth it. Hope you get the diagnosis and a surgeon who is very familiar with ES soon. Stay strong and never give up. Feel better soon.