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Eagle Syndrome - Online Support Group

Removal of ligament?

Hi everybody! Can anyone comment on how removal of the stylohyoid ligament affected their voice? I’ve read that the ligament only plays a small role in swallowing, and other muscles, etc take over for lifting the larynx after it’s removed? Did anyone feel any difference in their talking or singing voice following surgery and the removal of this ligament, or only improvement? Any clarification on this is greatly appreciated…

I’d also love to know (generally speaking) - how long it took after surgery for people to feel back to their normal voice…or how long after surgery they could talk normally, sing or use their voice heavily without issues?

Thanks everybody!!

If the ligament is calcified, then it should be removed, but if it’s not, then is usually left it, but still has to be detached from the styloid process, as it’s attached & to shorten the SP it has to be cut anyway. It doesn’t seem to make any difference to swallowing, voice etc.
After surgery my voice was fine straightaway, no difference, & the same with swallowing. Chewing & opening my mouth wide was uncomfortable, for a week or two afterwards.
I think others have found that talking was a strain though, for a couple of weeks afterwards, we’ve had quite a few teachers who’ve found this hard so have had to delay going back to work.
Here’s a link that you might find helpful:


Hopefully others might chip in with more info!

I’m a singer-songwriter, and I have not had any adverse affect for my voice following removal (3.5 of 3.8 cm). All good!

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Hi, I’m so glad to hear that - very encouraging! Were you having voice problems as ES symptoms before the surgery? And they removed the ligament altogether and you don’t feel issues with that in your singing? May I ask which type of surgery you got? I It seems most people recommend the external and removing the ligament entirely…I also just talked to a surgeon who does the transoral endoscopic surgery and the ligament is detached since the SP is shortened, but he says he just leaves it in there and “your body just absorbs it” !? I’d love to know which you had. Thank you :slight_smile:

Hi Jessica,

No, I didn’t have any vocal cord problem. (I have GERD, which can make my throat scratchy, but that’s a separate issue.) I don’t think the surgery affected my voice one way or another. I had intra-oral, recommended by my doc as easier recovery and more likely for greater success. Glad I did it that way. Don’t know if he took out the ligament - just saw a pic of the whole bone!