I am not really sure how to answer
The styloid is a bone attached to the skull base. The stylohyoid ligament extends from the styloid to the hyoid. Other ligaments attach to the hyoid as well. There is a lot more going on in that area as well. These are the three things that compose eagles syndrome along with the many nerves that are affected.
Intraorallly, usually the surgeon goes in through the tonsil area and finds the calcified styloid and or stylohyoid ligament and removes some of it. They often leave a part of the styloid and a part of the stylohyoid. Effectively, the styloid and stylohyoid that are remaining just stay there. The stylohyoid for me felt like a part of a 3 jointed chicken wing had been removed and the rest snapped back near the hyoid and part of the styloid was gone. For me, this never really felt right. For most, it is enough to get rid if pain.
For me the styloid was very thick and pressing on a nerve. The stylohyoid remaining seemed hung up in my throat like a little stick.
Intraorallly, some doctors can now remove the entire styloid and stylohyoid, they say. That is very new I believe
Externally, doctors take several approaches, a cut in the lower neck or an “s” shaped incision from the mid front of the ear around and down to the mid back of the ear and down and back in a half heart to a crease in the neck. That incision looks terrifying, but it is a flap that makes everything more visible and it is a superficial incision to make a flap except that the earlobe is numb for a couple months after. The incision scar is almost invisible in a month or 2. Amazing work.
Then the surgeon can find the nerves and tissue that he needs to maneuver through and protect or cut to reach the styloid and stylohyoid.
The surgeon will remove what he deems necessary. .When they remove the stylohyoid completely from the hyoid, they dissect it from the hyoid and leave the hyoid intact. They may or may not leave a tiny bit of styloid at the skull. Sometimes they clip a tiny bit of muscle from the hyoid in order to remove the stylohyoid ligament.
When the stylohyoid is removed from the hyoid and everything is healed, you mostly do not feel any different The hyoid is not attached with a joint to any other bone, but there are other ligaments still attached to the hyoid that stabilize the hyoid.
You may notice a little more tenderness or weakness when you cough a lot, and sometimes swallowing water in a certain way will cause a cough like choking, but 99 % of the time, it feels normal as before.
Like you, I could not get a handle on what releasing the stylohyoid would do. Intraorally the classic way actually removes a middle chunck and leaves a bit of styloid hanging down and stylohyoid sticking up. The only problem with that, is if the nerves are still compressed by either of those pieces, you still have pain
If you have bilateral issues, I recommend a Physical therapist to help you relieve tight muscles after a 2 month healing process.
I had both these surgeries and this is my story as I felt and experienced it. Today is my one year anniversary of my last of 3 surgeries.
You should recover pretty well in a month, but the one year mark after you last surgery will be a milestone because all the little setbacks have passed. I am still unwinding and releasing neck back and shoulder muscles that were held hostage for many years, but I feel like I got back 4 years of my life
I recommend physical therapy after.