Hi all. I had a tonsillectomy in 1999, and began to experience neck pain around 2004 especially after looking down at something for extended periods of time. After MRIs, etc., no one could ever find what would be causing this. In 2015 my dentist noticed elongated styloids on a panoramic x-ray and told me about ES. I was in shock that my dentist had found it and that the common symptoms matched what I had been feeling for years.
I found a nearby ENT at the time that is on this site’s list and received a diagnosis, but in between then and my surgery date some strange events occurred and he ended up losing his license to practice. I want to a new ENT that could also do the surgury and he elected to give me a shot of lidocaine and said surgery should be a last resort. The lidocaine did seem to give me some relief and the discomfort has always subsided after taking a couple of Advils (typically only needed when it is really bad once a month or so) - it has been manageable.
Fast forward to now, a few months ago I noticed a bump under my jawline and my dermatologist identified it as a common skin cyst that just needed to be excised. He made a small incision and removed it, but during surgery he mentioned “something is in there”. I was perplexed by this statement and he did not elaborate, but in the coming days I began wondering if it could be my styloid?
About 1 week after surgical removal of the cyst, I began feeling a sensation like something was in my throat when I would swallow. I figured this was due to inflammation in the area related to the minor procedure. A few days later I began getting neck pain like I have gotten intermittently over the years when my head isn’t held completely straight. The only problem is that Advil won’t complete help with the pain anymore, and now it is starting to affect my work as I am on the computer all day and it seems to get really agitated.
Now when I try to go to sleep at night I can feel something in there (feels like styloid), and depending on which side I sleep on I can feel it poking near where the cyst was removed. I also keep feeling the need to open my jaw and I hear a popping/cracking sound from both sides. It feels like there is a foreign body from my temple to my jawline and the pain radiates from my neck to behind my eyes. I also have intermittent tingling in my face.
Sorry for the long and rambling backstory, but I was hoping you all might be able to help with a few questions. I have to wait another month before I have an appointment with my ENT to discuss my options and hopefully get a new CT scan since the last one was 5 years ago.
1.) Would it be at all helpful for me to send the 5 year old CT scan to a more experienced doctor such as Dr. Samji or Dr. Cognetti to get a phone consult or should I wait until I get up to date imaging?
2.) Is it possible for the styloid to elongate to the point that it is poking on the skin on the neck and has nowhere else to go, causing it to push back up and irritate nerves more?
3.) Is my CT scan I included with or without contrast? How come Dr. Sanji prefers no contrast, wouldn’t that help identify arteries, etc.?
(CLICK TO EXPAND AND VIEW FULL PANORAMIC)