Styloid ligament? Where is it exactly

Can someone post a picture or show me in words where the Styloid ligament is?! I can’t find any online just the Styloid process. I’m in severe pain! the ligaments are completely ossified. But my pain is in the middle of my neck farther down. Not under my jaw like where it should be. I’m so confused by all this. Like the pain is below the hyoid bone. Maybe an inch farther down and when I press into my trachea on the side it feels sharp!! Like a shard of glass. I’ve also been getting ear popping…

Found this one- is that helpful? Searched for stylohyoid ligaments in google images, there's a few on there. I do get a constant aching to the left of and below the hyoid bone which is really, really tender when touched. Sounds similar to where your pain is. This hasn't gone since surgery- I was told my ligaments are fine, so not sure what it is! Ear popping is very common.

Hi kelx
Here some pictures.
99-image.jpg (176 KB)

Another one.
98-image.jpg (70.5 KB)

Thanks you!!! As I look at this this isn’t even where my pain is!!! Is it possible I have this eagle syndrome found and not even expressing symptoms yet from it. Like the pain is behind my trachea not up under my neck.i think they call it the thyroid cartilage. But the reports on my ct scan suggests I have eagles. I had this so much!!! Does anyone have lympnodes swelling in there neck? I have 4 painful ones. I wish doctors in canada were knowledgeable!! I have no idea where they get there education from I’m so frustrated and all they will give me is Tylenol and Advil!!! I can take 20 of those and they pain is even worse! And not to mention how expensive it would be too have a doctor look at this is the states!

You have to keep searching it is the same in the states. I traveled over 1300 miles to see a Dr.
Did you get checked for reflux? I have lump down deep in neck by thyroid. When i was haveing sever pain a Dr prescribed me prednisone it is a steroid it helped motrin with nightquill was not helping but the steroid helped. I never got rid of lump feeling and food getting stuck tho. Never give up keep searching.

No I don’t have reflux. I was also on prednisone for the pain and inflammation I didn’t have. And then I was put on acid reflux pills as well. Never helped. I’ve been prescribed a lot of useless stuff I don’t need. I don’t feel a lump it feels like a shard of glass stuck in there. Maybe I’m suffering from 2 things at once eagles and something else. I’m not giving up ever!!! I’m my doctors worst nightmare lol… The one thing in life I always dreaded was getting a disease or disorder of something rare… And look at me now! Got a rare thing! Ugh never fails with me! Did you find a doctor? Surgury? Pls tell me ur story! :slight_smile: I feel so alone

Dear Kelx,

You are not alone. I know having "electronic friends" who can relate to you isn't the same as having a warm body whom you can touch by your side, but be reassured you are cared for and empathized with by many people on this forum. ES is a frustrating problem. It manifests in many different ways, some more common and some unique to each individual. Your symptoms are definitely those that can be caused by ES. The fact that the pain in your neck "is not where it should be" is most likely a function of the angles your calcified ligaments/extended styloids have grown. I had one that ran right under my chin & caused lots of neck pain & the other that extended more straight down and caused no neck pain but did cause a lot of other problems and gave me other strange symptoms. I have had both of my styloids shortened and both of my stylohyoid ligaments removed even though the ligaments themselves were only partially calcified. ES is caused by elongation of the styloid processes, or calcification of the stylohyoid ligaments, or some combination of both of those. Symptoms can be bizarre & unpredictable. They usually come and go although some come & stay.

There are 4 doctors in Canada listed on the Doctors List link at the top of the page who have delt with and helped ES patients there. I know none are close to you, but it might be more expedient for you to travel to and pay to see a Canadian doctor than coming to the US. Having had 2 surgeries now to eliminate my ES problems, my recommendation is that you choose a doctor who is willing to remove your calcified ligaments and shorten your styloid processes back as close to your skull as possible. I am currently recovering from my second surgery but already feel an amazing amount better now that my styloids aren't interfering with nerves & vascular tissues in my neck. I am so looking forward to completely healing & returning to my life as it was a few years ago before the ES symptoms started. I believe I am on that road to recovery now.

I will pray for you to have peace and to find the best possible doctor to help you as soon as possible. There is a good chance of full recovery after the styloids & ligaments are removed.

eHug to you,

Isaiah 40:31
Kelx said:

No I don't have reflux. I was also on prednisone for the pain and inflammation I didn't have. And then I was put on acid reflux pills as well. Never helped. I've been prescribed a lot of useless stuff I don't need. I don't feel a lump it feels like a shard of glass stuck in there. Maybe I'm suffering from 2 things at once eagles and something else. I'm not giving up ever!!! I'm my doctors worst nightmare lol... The one thing in life I always dreaded was getting a disease or disorder of something rare..... And look at me now! Got a rare thing! Ugh never fails with me! Did you find a doctor? Surgury? Pls tell me ur story! :) I feel so alone

Kelx, in the area you have pain there's the thyroid gland- have you had blood tests/ scans of that area to see if you have thyroid problems? Quite a few members have both ES and thyroid issues. The pain could be down to a lymph node, there's a lot in that area too. Also some members have had problems caused by vagus nerve compression- by the styloid or ligaments. Looking at images there is a branch of the vagus nerve in that area- the external laryngeal branch (elb on the image below). Maybe the pain you have is down to that nerve being irritated by the calcified ligaments? These are only guesses, I'm not medically qualified!!

Thanks everyone! Feels so comforting when ppl respond. And as I’m looking at that image it’s where “es” is pointing maybe a tiny bit higher behind that white windpipe lol. Yes I see only 4 doctors in Toronto area that has done that type of surgury. Does one need a referal from your family doctor. Or can you just book it. I do have hypo thyroidism but levels are very normal and had many scans on my thyroid. I have no pain in the thyroid area. I bet recovering from that surgury is a nightmare. That would hurt so much! Is it better too do the internal or external surgury?

Hi Kelx,

Whether or not you need a referral from your family doctor depends on your insurance. In the U.S. we have different medical insurance options. Some require a referral & others don't. You will need to check to see what the case is with your insurance.

I've had 2 external surgeries (1 on each side) & in my opinion (I'm also not a doctor) which is based on my surgeon's comments, the external approach is better because it gives better access to the styloid process & ligament as well as giving better visibility to nerves and vascular tissues in the area so they can be left as undisturbed as possible during surgery. In some cases, a nerve can be wrapped around the styloid or the styloid can be pressing on the carotid artery, jugular vein or vegus/other nerves so there will be some contact with those during surgery. Some doctors prefer the internal approach because it's less invasive, but my preference was for the approach that would give me the best result and that I believe is the external approach. That said, many people on this site have had good results w/ the intraoral approach.

The recovery experience varies from person to person. It's not totally awful. In my case, I learned from my first surgery that it takes about 2 weeks post-op before I can fully stop the narcotic pain meds, and it's about 2 months before I feel totally back to normal. Others have felt fully recovered after a week. I think in most cases because of nerve/vascular interference by the styloid/ligament before it was shortened, the recovery time takes a period of months while nerves. muscles and skin heals from the surgery. It is a major surgery, and as with any major surgery, patience with one's body during recovery is key. It's good to have family & friends around to support you for at least a couple of weeks post-op.

I hope this info is helpful. Thinking of you as you research your options and make decisions as to how to proceed.

The area 'es' on that image isn't labelled- I think it's a muscle! It's quite a long way down for it to be affected by the styloids or calcified ligaments, unless they're pressing on a nerve or a blood vessel and the pain's radiating down.

Surgery is not as painful as I thought it would be. There's been lots of debates about whether intra-oral or external are better. Quite often the surgeon will have a preference. The surgeon who operated on me did external only, as he said that way he can see the styloid much better and remove it as high as possible. (He took mine off completely, at the base of the skull). Recovering from intra-oral takes longer as it's like having a tonsillectomy.

In saskatchewan we have full health care coverage so everything is free. But I’m not sure how it works outside saskatchewan might have too go through my husbands insurance or something. Lots of researching I have too do for sure! I do have a head and neck surgeon referal which is probably going too take 6 months too get in so it’s a waiting and once again. And most likely they won’t want too touch me. I’ll probably have too get a doctor too refer me to someone in Toronto or something. The states would be way too expensive for me to go to because my husbands health coverage only covers in canada. Is there anything I should take too my surgeon when I do see him? I just have this feeling he’s going to say there is nothing you can do about it.

If you have gotten a CT scan or other scan or whatever it was that enabled your doctor to diagnose ES, you should take that with you or have a copy sent to the surgeon. The ENT doctor who did my surgery is also a skull based surgeon (I just found that out recently). I think any doctor who's experienced with neck surgery could do this surgery as he/she would already know the internal aspects of the neck. It would be knowing which ligament to remove and how far to shorten the styloids that would make the difference. Since your ligaments are calcified, it would be obvious which ligaments are the problem.

Since Canada has socialized medicine, I would think you would be covered no matter which province you get medical care in. Still, it's important to know for sure so doing the research is well worth the effort!

:)

Yes, take the scan results/ report etc. with you- it's always good to get copies if you can, in case they get lost in the system! Do as much research as you can on ES- there's some research info on here- especially if any symptoms are mentioned which are the same as yours, or if they mention successful surgery. Then take stuff with you to any appts so that you can argue your case. I took reams with me, but thankfully didn't need any as the CT results showed jugular compression, but just having it with me gave me confidence. It can be very daunting as it is, but if you can show you know what you're talking about, hopefully you'll be more likely to be taken seriously.



Jules said:

Yes, take the scan results/ report etc. with you- it's always good to get copies if you can, in case they get lost in the system! Do as much research as you can on ES- there's some research info on here- especially if any symptoms are mentioned which are the same as yours, or if they mention successful surgery. Then take stuff with you to any appts so that you can argue your case. I took reams with me, but thankfully didn't need any as the CT results showed jugular compression, but just having it with me gave me confidence. It can be very daunting as it is, but if you can show you know what you're talking about, hopefully you'll be more likely to be taken seriously.

Yes I’ll take my reports with me and hopefully he does take me seriously. And hopefully they say there isn’t anything a person can do about it. I know that’s what they will say. I hope my Styloid process wasn’t on my artery would they have seen it on the scan no one mentioned it! That freaks me out! And does it actually keep growing? Lol

Sorry, I can't remember what sort of scan you had? If it was with contrast when you have a dye put in the blood and then pics taken, that shows the blood vessels, so they can see if they're being compressed. It does seem as if they can keep growing- a couple of members have had them shortened and they've grown back. I was told by my first doctor that they don't grow, but clearly they do as I had worsening symptoms from them compressing the jugular veins. The first doctor also told me that they couldn't affect the blood vessels- I'm so grateful to the advice I had from this site, so I knew not to let it go, and found a doctor who was able to operate, and who was willing to do a proper scan.

Ct scan with contrast. I have a love hate relationship with google. I almost had a meltdown when I read that It can cause a stroke and death. I hope if I can’t find a surgeon that it will never lead too that.

Oh and what’s the difference between calcification and ossification. My scan said ossification of ligaments.