Problems after almost a year of relief

This November will be a year since I had the left side styloid process and ligament removed. It has been great, completely pain free. Until the last month or so. I now have pain and swelling on left side of neck and face, also pain that runs down into my shoulder and horrible headaches again. Has anyone else had surgery and now having problems? Still have a little over a month before I’m able to get in to see the surgeon to find out what’s going on. Don’t know what to do to relieve some pain, eating Tylenol like candy…

So sorry that you’ve had a successful surgery & now pain back, that’s tough. Occasionally the styloids can grow back, especially if they were shortened rather than taken back to skull base, or it could be that scar tissue has formed which is trapping nerves & causing pain. A new CT would be good to see if there’s any regrowth…
While you wait I’d suggest trying cold or warmth on the area, see if either help, sleep part upright, & see your GP/ PCP to try nerve pain medications like Gabapentin or Amitriptyline, although they can take a little while to work.
Before your surgery, did you find anything helped then?

Unfortunately due to other medical problems this is not a whole lot of medicine I can take that won’t mess with my blood thinners. I will try the cold compress and see how that works.

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Hi SheilaM,

I’m so sorry to read that you’ve got a return of symptoms. Jules gave you thorough information on the possible causes. We do have other forum members that have had symptoms return after some time & as Jules noted, it was normally in cases where a bit of styloid was left behind i.e. not removed at the skull base. There have also been cases where excess scar tissue was laid down & fascial therapy to help break that up helped. In extreme cases, surgery can be required to reduce scar tissue. You might also consider having your right styloid checked for elongation just in case it’s a contributor to your current situation.