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Eagle Syndrome - Online Support Group

Popping sound from the neck near the styloids ligament

Hi all friends.
When I turn my head from a stationary position (not all the time) but sometimes I get a small clicking or popping sound coming from the back k of my neck. Has anyone had or gave this and what could it be? Could the styloids ligament be causing this sound?
Thanks again .

So about the typo.
Hi all friends.
When I turn my head from a stationary position (not all the time) but sometimes I get a small clicking or popping sound coming from the back of my neck. Has anyone had or have this symptom and what could it be? Could the sound be coming from the styloids ligament? Could this be serious?
Thanks again.

I get these small pops and clicks, particularly on my left side, (post surgery side), my 3d CT scan didn't show calcification of my ligaments, but from what I understand, it is very difficult to find calcification on nearly all tests ( mri , xray, ct) because only the most heavily calcified ligaments tend to show anything, and even then it only shows small bits and pieces of the heavily calcified bits like they are hanging in mid air. I will say I get a massive pop when I crack my neck on the left side right by my styloid and it feels amazing for about 5 seconds, then its right back to the hell we know and love (sarcasm) .


P.S. When you say, stationary position, do you just mean when you are laying down or sitting down and not moving about or walking? I notice when I fully relax my neck, which is rare, I get little clicks or pops in the affected area.

Yeah. Sometimes when I rest and not move I get small click or pops too. I mostly notice it that I sit at work for a while and move my head slightly then it clicks or pop. Not loud just enough for me to notice. How long have you had this clicking and popping? Are you able to play sports with these systems? Cos I can’t.

I honestly haven't played sports since I had an oblation done on my heart when I was 15, Anytime I do anything strenuous though I pay for it the next day. I miss soccer man

I hurt my hip 4 months ago and then I got this syndrome. Still hoping I’m wrong but the symptoms are like what everyone says here. My life has turn upside down. I’m only three week into this and it’s hell and very hard to sleep at night. I miss sleeping and being able to be normal. I don’t know how long I will last. Getting harder and harder to concentrate at work.

I had a click or pop in my neck on the left side (my symptomatic side) when I would turn my head to the left. It was discovered that it was my hyoid bone hitting against my cervical spine. I had that fixed the same time my styloid was removed. My hyoid bone was shifted or shaped oddly on that side. The only person to correctly diagnose the problem was the surgeon that removed my styloid. He was able to see it on a regular CT-scan.

Hi star987. How long did you have this clicking for? Is it dangerous I can’t do anything about it until my Insurance kick in in 6 months time. Any advice because don’t know how long I can last with all these problems? Thanks.

I had the popping/click start in March 2012 after a bad neck adjustment from a chiropractor so I suspect that’s what caused it along with all of my symptoms. I got my surgery January 10th and the doctor cut a small section of the back of my hyoid bone so it wouldn’t hit against my spine. That solved the problem right away. I don’t think it’s dangerous because my surgeon told me the surgery would be considered elective for both the styloid and hyoid bone. It was more of an annoyance than anything. The clicking and pop didn’t hurt always , but there were definitely times that’s it did based on how it was hitting against the spine.

The only thing I can suggest is to minimize the occurrence of it until you can get it looked at. Easier said than done, I’m sure. Is yours always painful? Mine happened most often when I would turn my head to the left and swallow. That was when I would get the worst pop. My surgeon said he hadn’t seen many people with this issue…so apparently it’s pretty rare.

Mine pops when I move my head from stationary position and sometimes during the night without moving my head it just pops anyway. I get pain from the back of my head both sides radiate down to both my shoulders. When I swallow something clicks in my throat. I’m only three weeks into this. My Chest makes popping sound every now and then. I don’t know what to expect next. Very worried at the moment.

It’s understandable that you would be worried. So the click is in the back where your spine is? I’m just trying to understand exactly where you feel it. Mine was on the side of my neck, if I put my hand over the area and turned my head I could feel the pop happen. I could also feel it internally. If it’s in the back by the spine it may not be a hyoid bone issue like mine was. What other symptoms do you have?

Star, I also have the pop/click you describe when I swallow and turn my head to the left…strange!

I notice the same thing as Star and JKL, not stationary though.

I have this when I tilt my head front to back in a tight position. I’ve had this for about 10 years

Star987. The popping has no sound. Only I can feel it from the back of my neck or back of the scull. I can’t make it happen it does it randomly. Could it be my brain sending spasism? I have been very stressed the last few months over my health and now I realise stress does not help. I’m trying to UN-stress but it’s really hard when I have symptoms like burning neck and shoulders that don’t allow me to sleep at night.

I was just diagnosed with Eagle Syndrome February 28, 2019. The symptoms started in January. CT with contrast clearly showed the calcified styloid ligament. The ENT who diagnosed me, who is in a group of several, didn’t feel he had the experience to do the surgery so I am due to see a more experienced ENT on Monday April 15th. Last night for no apparent reason, I felt a big pop in the side of my neck that brought my pain level to a completely new level. I had been able to take Tylenol and keep the pain at a tolerable level. Now, It just hurts to do ANYTHING! I have read the posts from several people that have lived with this for months, years and I don’t know how they can tolerate it. Has anyone here had to resort to some kind of pain medicine??? Thank you Vince for sharing the popping sound you have. I wish you all the luck in getting this handled.

Hi Pindergirl67 -

Welcome to the ES forum! Based on the experiences of a number of people on the forum who’ve had calcified stylohyoid ligaments, the popping/clicking sensation especially when swallowing is part of the package. It’s unfortunate that pain often goes along w/ the popping/clicking & does get worse as calcification progresses. I’m sorry to read that you’ve had a sudden larger pop w/ a significant pain increase. Were you doing anything in particular at the time the pop happened?

There are a quite a number of people here who’ve tried various pain medications. The ones that tend to help are the meds for nerve pain which are also anti-seizure meds - Neurontin, Gabapentin, Amitriptyline, Nortriptyline, etc. These meds do come w/ side effects for most people so may not be the perfect solution but most doctors start their patients out w/ a very low dose & gradually increase it to help keep side effects at bay. You should be able to get an Rx from your PCP or the ENT who diagnosed you.

I’m sure others will add responses so you’ll get other points of view. Please let us know how your appointment on 4/15 goes w/ the new ENT. We’re always looking to add good, knowledgeable ES doctors to the US ES Doctors’ List we have on this forum.

There’s some info in the Newbies Guide Section about pain medications, but as well as those Isaiah mentions , some members have tried Baclofen or other muscle relaxants, lidocaine patches, & also some doctors can do steroid/ lidocaine injections into the neck which has helped tide people over until surgery. It doesn’t always help, but it is something you could ask about at your appt.?

Thank you for your helpful response. My pain subsided to a fairly tolerable level after about a week. My ENT in Brunswick, GA referred me to Guy Petruzzli, MD, ENT, Otolaryngologist at Memorial Health University in Savannah, Georgia. I will be having external surgery on the left on May 14, 2019. CT scans of my neck and face show my calcified styloid ligament to be 7-8 cm. My Doctor says I’ll be staying overnight only. I am so blessed that my Eagle Syndrome was diagnosed as quickly as it was and I have an experienced surgeon who will do my surgery. I know a lot of people on this site have suffered for years. Thank you again for all your input. This is a great site!

Hi Pindergirl67 - You may find that at least some of your cervical problems subside after having ES surgery especially w/ 7-8 cm of calcified ligament. That is VERY L-O-N-G!

I’m so glad you’ve found this site to be helpful, that you’ve got surgery scheduled soon, & that you found a doctor near home to do your ES surgery. We’re always looking for new (to us) ES surgeons to add to our list. Please let us know post op how you feel your surgery went & know that we’re also here to support you during recovery (which is also “no skate in the park”).

I’ll add your surgery date to my calendar & pray for you that day in particular.

:hugs: