Eagle Syndrome - Online Support Group

When to go to the ER

Hi All,

I was just diagnosed with ES and am waiting to see the specialist. In the meantime I am really struggling and have been feeling so weak, having some really bad neck pain and just generally have been feeling terrible. I feel like I should go to the emergency room but am not sure they would be able to do anything for me based on my past experiences. How do I determine when I am actually really in a dire situation and when it is just normal symptoms of ES I guess is what I’m asking.

Hi Courtney,

Many people suffering with ES find themselves in the ER looking for pain eradication. Usually the ER docs either prescribe pain meds or recommend OTC pain relievers & send you on your way. In cases of severe migraines, vertigo & nausea IV meds may be administered. If your pain truly becomes unbearable or you find yourself randomly fainting, having uncontrolled migraines, vertigo…things that are more debilitating, it would be worthwhile heading there.

ES pain can be very intense. It generally flares & subsides & flares again & subsides in unpredictable cycles; sometimes it cycles w/in a day & sometimes over weeks/months. The symptoms will change, too. Some will go away & new ones will show up. Sometimes icing your neck (15 min. on & at least 45 min. off) can help. Some people find heat is better. A nerve pain medicine like neurontin, gabapentin, or amitryptiline can help but all of those have side effects that can be disagreeable. A short-term fix which helps some people is to get a cortisone/lidocaine injection into your neck. A skilled ENT doctor would do this w/ ultrasound guidance to place the needle accurately & distribute the meds where (s)he thinks they would be most effective.

Do you have an appointment w/ a specialist yet? If not, since you’re in CA, I highly recommend Dr. Samji in San Jose. He did both of my surgeries. I’m 4.5 years out from my first one & 4 years out from my second. I’m so thankful I found him through this forum.

Thank you for the reply Isaiah_40_31 :pray:
I am thinking I must have vascular ES because I often experience all of these symptoms
I have gone to the ER probably 10+ times in the past 3 years when experiencing these symptoms and doctors just think I am crazy and can’t do anything for me.
I will talk to my ENT and see if he has any solutions for me between now and when I see Dr. Chhetri. I called Dr. Samji’s office yesterday and they said they would call me back, but they never got back to me. I hear Dr. Chhetri is amazing but he is out of the country until the end of April.
I am glad you have had a great outcome with your surgery. It gives me a lot of hope that I will feel back to normal in the near future. :crossed_fingers:

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Hi CourtneyDM,
I can sooooo relate to what you are feeling and going through. I never went to the emergency room but I came close many times. What Isaiah said is true - that they wouldn’t be able to do much.

I haven’t had muscle spasms in a while, thankfully, but now onto other crazy symptoms. When I had the spasms I would take long, hot showers after work and follow that up with ice. It seems to help somewhat. I made a heat wrap from a knee sock and rice and I pop it in the micro, which also helped.

I am in a holding pattern waiting for my May 8th consult with Dr. Cognetti in Philadelphia. With the constant pain in my neck and pressure in my head, it cant happen soon enough.

All the best to you.

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Hi CourtneyDM,

Dr. Chhetri has done ES surgery for at least one forum member. She never posted much online. He does bilateral ES surgery all at once so you’ll need to plan a month or more for real recovery. I do believe he’s an excellent surgeon though.

The most efficient way to communicate w/ Dr. Samji’s ofc is by email. You will usually get a pretty fast response that way. Try emailing lauren @ caminoent .com (w/o the spaces - the site blocks email addresses & phone numbers put in correct format).

The member is Mooky. You can privately message her to talk abt her experience w/ him.


Hi Courtney,

I’m sorry you’re going through this. When I have had to go to the ER we call my doctor first and he tells them to expect me and lets them know of my diagnosis. My husband has also taken my imaging discs and reports with him. Doing this has made a big difference and there’s no hesitation on giving me whatever medications are needed because my doctor gives them orders to do so.

I hope this is of help to you.