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Eagle Syndrome - Online Support Group

7 weeks post op

I am 7 weeks post op external left styloid and stylohyoid ligament removal. I was doing really well right after surgery. Saw dramatic improvement in so many symptoms. Most had gone away completely. After a couple weeks some came back but I only noticed them sporadically and they weren’t as severe as before surgery. The last few days my symptoms are back with a vengeance. Lasting longer periods of time and the pain is worse than it was before surgery. I know I’m only 7 weeks out, is this normal to have a big flare around this time in the recovery process? Still holding out hope surgery was successful and that after more time I will be doing much better after the nerves have had more time to recover. Thanks so much for all the support!

Hi Lacy,

Do you have bilateral ES? If so, it could be cross over pain from your remaining styloid. In bilateral cases, where two surgeries are done instead of one, symptoms caused by the second side often start ramping up after the first side is taken care of. Many people misinterpret this as “unsuccessful surgery” when in reality it’s just an opportunistic remaining styloid causing problems. Cross over pain (right styloid causing left-sided pain) is not uncommon because now that one side has been “liberated” the remaining side is tugging on it, or in other words, an imbalance has been created that can flare the previous symptoms on the surgical side.

If you do not have bilateral ES, then it is less common that the symptoms would come back w/ a vengeance at this point, but it does happen. The best things I can tell you, are try ice & heat on the painful nerves & continue with whichever one helps the most. Try sleeping w/ your head elevated for awhile again & be cautious w/ lifting anything over 10 lbs, heavy exercise, or excessively long or stressful work days. Your body is trying to heal, & if you’re pushing yourself, it’s having to put its energy into keeping you going rather than healing. Healing from ES surgery is a two steps forward one step back process & can even be one step forward & two back for a few months post op.

I hope this turns around for you quickly. If it is too uncomfy, you can talk to your doctor about getting some nerve pain meds to help you through as the nerves heal.

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So sorry the hear that things have gor worse for you after a successful surgery, I agree with Isaiah…or have you maybe been overdoing things? Easily done if you’re feeling quite good, I speak from personal experience! Hopefully this will settle soon!
Otherwise I don’t know how quickly scar tissue can build up, that’s a possibility over time. If it doesn’t settle soon then maybe look into that, I think a couple of members have had cold laser therapy for that.
Thinking of you, & sending you a gentle hug…

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I do have bilateral ES and my right side symptoms have definitely gotten worse since the left side was removed. Hopefully its just that, thank you so much for your reassurance!

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Im sure I have been overdoing it with my kids home for Christmas break. They go back to school Monday and I will be able to rest more then :slight_smile: and I do still have my right side to do so it could be that as well. Thanks so much!

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