Eagle Syndrome - Online Support Group

Possible Diagnosis/Lidocaine Injections


Hey guys!
So after explaining that I thought I might have ES to an area ENT, I got a call from him the next day saying the radiologist had reexamined my CT. Apparently my styloid on the right side is 3.5cm. Didn’t say anything about ligament calcification, but I was so happy he listened to me that I didn’t ask.

So he’s referring me to the only surgeon in my area who does ES surgeries to take another look and see if surgery is an option for me. One thing he suggested is doing a lidocaine injection- he says if this eliminates the pain that is suggestive that surgery would be successful. Anyone have experience with these? Is it important that i get them done with someone who’s super familiar with ES, or can I have this ENT do the first one? Have they been successful for you? I know they’re not a cure or even really a long term solution, just curious about what to expect.

Thanks in advance!


I benenfited some from the lidocaine injections and got injections in the back of my head to block migraines. It did work ,but had to keep going back. I had surgery on the right side for ES , but was told it did not work. It did work somewhat because I could not turn my head to the right without everything going black. Everybody is different I had a Dr. Who did many of these surgeries. I would get a second opinion as well . Hope that helps.


Interesting. I’m curious to see if they’ll help with my voice changes- I’m guessing no they’ll just help with pain. Sounds like they’re going to try to get me in tomorrow morning though, so I guess we’ll see! Maybe if the injections help with the pain my muscles will be able to go back to normal and my voice will resolve too.


Hi kittchenita,

The general opinion regarding lidocaine/cortisone shots is that, yes, they can help diagnose & temporarily stop some local ES symptoms, but there are others they won’t touch. The lidocaine masks/numbs the pain temporarily (from a few minutes to several weeks &, in rare cases, longer) while cortisone injections help by reducing inflammation in the area (also for the same time range). It’s unlikely you’ll get a vocal improvement from a lidocaine shot (sorry to be a naysayer), but if you do, that’s an added bonus!! The nerves that affect the vocal cords are among those irritated by elongated styloids & calcified s-h ligaments, & until the source of irritation is removed, you’re likely to find your voice is problematic.

When you see the ES surgeon, please be proactive & point out your potentially calcified s-h ligament in addition to the elongated styloid, & let him know you’d like both the ligament & the styloid process removed from the hyoid bone to the skull base. That is the most sure-fire way to insure that they won’t be able to create issues for you in the future.


Not many current members responding with info for you- you could search the past discussions using the magnifying glass icon as the injections have been mentioned quite a bit.
I’ve not had them done personally so can only comment from what I’ve read of others’ experiences…some members have found them very successful & have managed for quite a while, others less so. I think one member was alot worse off afterwards, maybe that was done by someone with no experience, I don’t know. Some members have had the injections with an ultrasound, so the needle is guided to the right place. You could ask your doctor about this. Hope it helps!


I was curious as to what kind of voice issues you’ve been experiencing.



So I got the lidocaine shot yesterday. Good news- it worked! I felt so much better last night and much of today. Doctor says it shouldn’t last very long though.

As far as voice changes go- I’ve felt like my voice is more muffled and gravely. I’m a singer, and I struggle with dynamic changes and switching between upper and lower register way more than I used to. There’s also pain associated with it, which I’m sure causes muscle tension and a nasty feedback cycle.


Enjoy the next few pain-free days, (or however long it lasts!) glad that it went well, & confirms the ES diagnosis!