Recovery Question

Hi everyone! First time posting here. I’ve been looking around for a while and this board has helped me TREMENDOUSLY! So grateful I came across this community!

Had first of 2 surgeries for bilateral ES two weeks ago.
First of all, my surgeon told me my styloids were not that elongated (2.5cm on the right…which is completely within the normal range…not sure how I even got the ES diagnosis from the CT scan in the first place, but I’m glad I did!). He agreed to do the surgery because there was some vascular compression. HOWEVER, when he went in for surgery he saw that my stylohyoid ligament was wrapped around the styloid process. He had never encountered it before and concluded it was what was likely causing my “tightness” (my primary complaint). Has anyone else experienced this?

Also, I know there are plenty of threads on here about various patterns of recovery but I’m just looking for a bit of mental reassurance! Forgive the strange metaphor…but I would describe the pain I had before the surgery as a “tusk” pushing up against the base of my tongue. The surgery has probably diminished the size of the tusk by 75%, but I still feel it there and can feel my tongue become tense if I move it around there. I know it can take up to a year for the nerves to heal, but I just find it strange that I noticed a significant change, but that same sensation hasn’t gone down all the way

Does this description sound accurate for anyone else? If so, what has the recovery been like for that particular symptom?

I’m very grateful for the relief I’ve had so far but I’m becoming anxious that it did not completely “solve” the problem and that I’ll still have this smaller “tusk” permanently, which I really do not want as I am a singer and would really like to fix my instrument!

Thanks for reading!


Hi Graceo6261!

So glad you found us! We are here to support and encourage you in whatever ways we can.

I had a very similar sensation behind my tongue on the left side from my left styloid & honestly can’t remember if the feeling was gone soon after I had surgery, but it is gone now. My glossopharyngeal nerve was wrapped around my right styloid which did create post op speech & eating troubles, but it’s 98% recovered now. I’m 2.5 years post op & it took close to a year to achieve that level of healing.

I suspect that the sensation you still feel will subside over a period of time. I felt almost completely normal & asymptomatic by 2 months post op. You will probably notice a BIG difference by then.

Please be encouraged. You’re still very early in your post op recovery. Don’t do too much too fast. Start back into your regular routine slowly even if you feel great because you can set your healing back by jumping back into everything too quickly.

I hope this helps!

I didn’t have that symptom, so can’t comment on that, but I do wish you well with your recovery and hope that you do heal quickly! Like Isaiah says, take it easy, and it’s good once the wound has healed (if you had external surgery?) to massage round the scar with some oil, Bio-oil or something like that, to help avoid scar tissue forming.
Best wishes, and glad that you’re finding the site helpful!

Interesting! Which doc and location did you go to? Email me ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■. we can talk more about my symptoms ect and yours

I hope your recovery goes well. I am curious about your recovery regarding your singing. I too am a singer and am not at the stage where I need surgery but am sure anxious about the impact surgery may have on my vocal ability. Have you had any negative effects to your singing? Thanks.

You might want to message Musicgeek as she is a singer & her voice was affected by ES. Not sure how she’s doing now after 2 ES surgeries.

Happy you found us.

I am presently 4weeks past left side Styloidectomy. I to will be having a second surgery in the future.

Healing time can vary from person to person. I will tell you about mine. Some of the tightness and tenderness in my neck and shoulder had subsided almost immediately after surgery. I still have some mouth opening issues, and my tongue kinda flips funny , this is getting better. The clicking in my jaw and neck is improving every day.

My experience with post surgery Eagle Syndrome (vascular), patience is the key word. Healing and recovery takes time. Rest , read a book, watch movies , what ever relaxes you. Oh …yes… do not try to go back to work until you feel well.

My magic ice bag was and still is my favourite choice for anti swelling and soothing.

Good healing to you.

From my experience so far, I would definitely recommend the surgery. If anything, my singing was impacted significantly before the surgery, primarily because of the muscle tension the eagles caused in the extrinsic laryngeal muscles. My actual vocal production was fine, but it felt more constrained and uncomfortable, especially in my top range. Honestly, I could get away with decent singing, and many people didn’t believe me when I told them the immense trouble I was having. Nothing’s more discouraging than people telling you you’re fine, when you know something’s wrong with your instrument and you have significant physical limitations.
In my case, risk of nerve damage to the laryngeal or glossopharyngeal nerves was low as my styloid wasn’t growing in that area–it was more of a mechanical problem with the ligament. Of course, I don’t know what the final outcome for my voice will be just yet, but I really can only imagine things improving. If your symptoms in any way impede on your singing, I would get the surgery when the time comes! And best of luck to you!

I’m so thankful to hear that you continue to feel improvement from your surgery, Graceo626!

Yes, your post certainly put my mind at ease too! I’ll still go through periods of thinking “holy hell this will never be COMPLETELY over,” but for the most part my outlook is a bit more positive.

I saw Dr. Timothy Osborn at Boston Medical Center - fantastic surgeon!

Thanks for the suggestion!

Shalom Grace, I had the same sensation for a good while, while I recovered. I am a diabetic and we heal very slowly. After about one month, I still had a small sensation, but I knew it would be a slow heal. Then, into my second month, I was not in severe pain, but I had some anxiety because I felt it was too long in healing. I panicked and at that point my praying girlfriends anoited me with prayer and brought me healing scriptures and music to strengthen my spirit.

At some point, I started to get depressed because I had suffered for 17 yrs.with this pain, like a fish bone poking me and feeling like it was under my tongue. It was horrible and I was literally dying slowly. I was so worried that I had made a mistake having my surgery, but with friends that kept me lifted up and they would not let me go down that dark hole. I am no longer suffering with that sensation.

I am still cautious with what and how I eat. That will never leave you, if everything felt that it was getting stuck and it was a horrible way of living. I just thank Yah that He had “mercy” on me and healed me of this horrible situation. Hang in there and pray…and if you have praying friends, ask them to pray with you. This is a fight for your life. At least you found a doctor who helped you.

What were your symptoms