Update: 3 months since surgery

Hi Everyone,

I wanted to give an update on how things are going at the 3-month mark since surgery to remove 3.2 cm of my left styloid (intraoral). Recovery was fine - last suture disappeared about 6 weeks ago. Sadly, ES appears NOT to be the cause of the ear and throat pain I’ve experienced, as they’re the same as ever. Just saw my ENT this morning, and he now believes that my left mastoid muscles are very tight. We we had tried addressing that first!

Oh well, at least I’m now lighter by a few grams!

Hi dtcolbert,

I’m sorry you haven’t had better/quicker symptoms relief from your surgery, but you’re actually still in early recovery. It can take up to a year for those nerves to heal. Additionally, if you have bilateral ES, symptoms can linger until the second styloid is removed…yes, even on the side that’s already had surgery.

Tight muscles of the jaw can certainly contribute to nerve pain in the ear & throat areas, but I would bet, given more healing time, you’d notice improvement in your throat & ear pain just from the surgery. I do suggest getting treatment for your tight mastoid & other jaw muslces (they’re all very closely tied together) as that should begin to give you more noticeable relief.

Recenlty I’ve been having some trouble swallowing (again - this was an ES symptom I had). I mentioned it to my chiropractor & he did some massage on my digastric muscle all the while exclaiming how tight it was. That provided a near miraculous cure to my swallowing issues. Apparently the digastric muscle affects the tongue which, of course, affects swallowing. I suspect this may be a throw back from my ES surgery almost 6 years ago as I am also struggling w/ tight pterygoid & mastoid muscles on one side.

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Sorry that you’ve not had any easing of symptoms after surgery; I do agree with Isaiah that there can still be improvements, & that ES can affect muscles indirectly too.
Hope that the rest of your treatment helps…

I was dealing with this prior to surgery and after. I do have TMJ and I was warned after surgery it would kick up and it did. Im only about 4 months out and after all kinds of treatments and massage seeing relief int he past few weeks so give it some time. Ive been seeing several providers including a neurologist and pain specialist. My masetter muscles including my temporalis (temples) muscle that connect close to the trigeminal nerve bundle in front of ear are locked up pretty tight. My ear pain is now slowly subsiding but I can feel the muscles tugging from the throat up to the ear / temples. Pain doc suggested acupuncture 2 x week in those muscles. My provider also attached a tens unit to the needles and I think was helpful. I am better but I also had had steriod injections and botox in temporalis muscles about 11 weeks ago. Pain doc suggested botox (not steriods) in the mastiod area which I am going for later in the month. You also may want to get “Plackers” - Grind no more which is OTC to wear at night.
My only other suggestion is to find an experienced PT or OD that does cranial-sacral work. Ive been dealing with this mastoid issue for many years and this has what has worked for me. Good luck and hang in there.

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Hi Isaiah!

Great to see you and Jules still on here! Update for me, my first surgery was last August. I too have pain from my ear to hyoid bone on both sides. It is very tight and I have had lots of front neck pain but nothing like the intensity prior to the surgeries. I went back to Dr. Milligan who ordered a CT just to give me peace of mind. He said my pain is also from the tight digastric muscle. My SCM is tight too. I also have had botox in the masseter which gives some relief but nothing for that thick angry digastric muscle. I go for the CT scan in 2 weeks. I will let you know what happens. There are definite days my neck is full of inflammation. I drink ginger tea, take turmeric, magnesium and fish oil to try to help the inflammation. I noticed inflammation high, pain is high so I am definitely a work in progress!

I’m doing my best to have gratitude when those good days arrive. I was also diagnosed with RA after the surgeries. My doctor mentioned he often sees people that have ES with some autoimmune issues. I thought that was interesting. In spite of the issues I have had I do not regret the surgeries. In fact I am quite grateful as I was crying almost every day and so dizzy.
Best to you and all your kindness during my journey.
You ladies are guardian angels!

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Hi Susie! Glad that there have been some improvements, but sorry that you’re still in alot of pain :confounded: I hope that you can get those muscles relaxed, & inflammation under control…
Interesting that your doctor has seen a link with AI conditions & ES!
Keep healing…

Hi Jules!

How are things in the UK? Arizona is still crazy hot. Hopefully only a month left of it.
How are you feeling these days?

Hi SusieQ!

So good to hear from you!! I, too, am sorry you still have pain but those tight muscles can sure wreak havoc in that dept. I was having trouble swallowing w/o choking again (an ES symptom I had) over the last couple of months & mentioned it to my chiropractor. He did some massage around & under my jaw & said my digastric muscles were exceedingly tight. He gave them a good working over (not comfy!!) & by golly, my swallowing issues went away w/in 24 hrs. That was eye opening for me! If you can find a good cranio-sacral massage therapist in your area or someone who deals w/ TMJ type massage, that might really help you to get those muscles more relaxed & ease your pain. Medical insurance will often pay for massage as therapy so it’s worth it to check w/ your company to see if you have coverage.

I hope you & your family are doing well w/ the SIP. We are in the middle of a heat wave in CA, too. It’s supposed to get up to 107º in our area today which is nearly unheard of. I do recall the summer of 2000 or 2001 where we hit 112º in June. That was a scorcher for sure!! I suspect these temps are nothing compared to what you get in AZ though.

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We’ve had some pretty hot days, not quite as hot as you though! Heading into autumn now (fall!) :disappointed: Covid is rearing it’s ugly head again in some areas, we are very lucky where I am & has been low…
I am doing well thanks!
God bless :grin:

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