I recently saw Dr Forrest in Columbus OH. He was very personable, and professional, (his personality and demeanour are a solid 10) and seems knowledgeable about ES.
He wanted to try botox in my neck and shoulder prior to making a decision about surgery. My styloids are 5.7cm on the left, and 4.6 on the right. My symptoms have been orthostatic imbalance, palpitations, episodes of arrhythmia, intense muscle spasms in my neck and shoulder, difficulty swallowing, circulation issues- particularly when laying down, hoarseness, etc. The pain has been manageable for the most part- until the botox. The botox has calmed my trapezius down, but has left my neck feeling more vulnerable to movement. I have constant pain now, in my neck and head.
His thoughts about trying botox were that my ES symptoms might be magnified by the muscle problems I have. (I have a history of whiplash, as well as ES) He hoped that by calming down the muscle, the nerve issues would improve. It doesn't appear that this has worked, and now surgery is definitely on the table.
I have heard on this site that Dr Forrest has done multiple ES surgeries- upward of 30. I intended to determine the accuracy of that at my appt, but got focused on the treatment (botox) being offered and didn't confirm that. I'm wondering if there is anyone on this site who can report about their surgery experience with Dr Forrest? I got the impression from him that the surgery is quite simple, and I should recover easily. He doesn't intend to take the whole styloid- but to leave about 2 cms. He would take part of the hyoid- reattach the ligament so the styloid no longer has anything to attach itself to, and then take most of the elongated styloid as well. I'm only having the left side done for now.
Can anyone tell me how they are doing post-op with ES surgery done by Dr Forrest? And if you had surgery with him, did he do this particular procedure on you? (removing some of the hyoid as well)
I am concerned about leaving any of the styloid, based on discussions on this site. Dr Forrest disagrees with the theory that the whole styloid has to go, based on the fact that everyone else in the population has styloids, and they are fine. He believes the strap that is created by the ligament attaching itself to the styloid is the real issue. If others have had this surgery done by Dr Forrest and feel it was successful, it would help me in making a firm decision.
Due to my orthostatic imbalance and resulting history of health problems at elevation, I am hesitant to travel out west, making an appt with Dr Samji impossible at this point. His approach seems to be one that is working for all of his patients, so if elevation wasn't a factor, I would also want to consult with him.
I appreciate any thoughts/comments you may have for me!
Again, my impressions of Dr Forrest have been extremely positive- I just want to do everything I can to not have to have more than one surgery for this problem.