Looking for some guidance from the ES community with more experience in this area. I had surgery 3 weeks ago which I understood was to remove the stylo-hyoid ligament and as much of elongated styloid process as possible. I should have read the fine print more carefully because it was labelled a stylo-hyoid ligament release and in the end this is all that happened. I have bi-lateral elongated styloid processes that extend to the “ramus of the mandible” which I think would make them about 4 - 5 cms long but I haven’t done anatomy and the radiographer didn’t provide measurements. I have only ever had symptoms on my right hand side.
On the CT/MRI scans the styloid ligament looked calcified so my ENT/Head Neck Surgeon and I agreed that he would remove as much of the calcified right side ligament and styloid process as he could without risking nerve damage. When he actually got in there the styloid ligament apparently was not calcified just over tight so when clipped it sprung back into the neck tissue. The surgeon didn’t want to chase the ligament back due to the risk of nerve injury etc etc so he sewed it all back up and left it at that.
Part of the back story is that I am only the second ES surgery my ENT/Head Neck Surgeon has performed solo. He completed some of his fellowship training in the US and was a part of 23 operations there. There are not a lot of doctor options in Australia - only 3 surgeons here have any experience with this and the most experienced has only done 5 of them (the down side of living in a country with a small population of 23 million and a rare medical condition)
So the surgery has resolved some symptoms but not all and I now have some new ones. I am wondering if those of you with more experience might be able to provide some insight into what might be happening. The symptoms that have resolved with the surgery three weeks ago are: now able to control the back of my tongue so can swallow food better, my tongue does not feel like it is being pulled out of my throat through my stomach anymore, able to sleep without the wedge and three pillows, the constriction at the top of my throat has gone and so has the pulsitile tinnitis when lying down. The symptoms that have not gone away are the feeling of something sticking into the right side of my throat, food getting stuck lower down in the oesophagus, right hand side sore throat and fullness/pressure in my right ear. The symptoms which have started since the surgery are shooting pain through my right hand molars to behind my right eye, earache, the sound of water swishing in my right ear after swallowing and backache upper right hand side.
I understand that the ES community are not medical experts but I am interested in your personal experiences and opinions. Am I just being ungrateful for the symptoms that have resolved? Are the symptoms that haven’t resolved and have started since the surgery likely to settle as the healing process continues? Could the symptoms be due to the remaining ligament irritating nerves/tissues? Could the symptoms be due to irritation from the elongated styloid - apparent now because the ligament has been released? Is this just normal healing after ES surgery which no doubt also irritates nerves and tissue. Should I be suggesting to my surgeon at the six week check up that it might have been better to remove the ligament and reduce the elongated styloid process?
Thank you in advance for any information or insight you may be able to share.