Hi @eastmas1! Nice to have you back!
The risks of styloid removal mostly have to do w/ nerve damage. Because of the many nerves & 6 of 12 cranial nerves that run through that part of our necks, there is a risk that damage could be done during surgery that might be permanent. Experienced skull based Head/Neck or ENT surgeons put monitors on the nerves so they can watch what’s going on during surgery thus making every effort not to injure the nerves or blood vessels. Sometimes a nerve or two has to be moved out of the way. This irritates them & can cause pain or numbness or some loss of function of the area the nerve innervates for awhile after surgery. In most cases, the nerves heal, but it is a slow process that requires patience. It can take up to a year, & some people need nerve pain medication to help them through this healing period.
An example that we’ve seen here sometimes, & that I personally experienced was tongue paralysis on the surgical side. My glossopharyngeal nerve was wrapped around my styloid, & in order for the styloid to be shortened, the nerve had to be unwrapped. Though the nerve wasn’t damaged, the unwrapping process caused it to be annoyed, & the result was that half my tongue didn’t work right for about 6 months. It wasn’t debilitating but was annoying.
I know this question was directed to @Chromechaser66 so hopefully you’ll get a first hand reply to compare w/ my general response.