Eagle Syndrome

Eagle syndrome (ES) is a disease characterized by cervicofacial
pain caused by elongation of the styloid process,
which occurs due to extensive ossification of the stylohyoid
ligament . ES is noted to occur in
some patients with a previous history of tonsillectomy.
The disease has an incidence of 4% in the general
population, with a female predominance. The typical ES
patient is female between 30 and 50 years of age with an
elongated styloid process and cervicofacial pain.
ES can be asymptomatic, while some patients present
with cervicofacial pain in the distribution of the
carotid artery, neuralgia of the pharynx, dysphagia, and
alteration in taste. Other patients present with chronic
headaches with pain in the ophthalmic and the occipital
regions when they turn their heads. This pain is classically
seen due to bilateral internal carotid artery
The key diagnostic presentations of ES according
to otolaryngologists include a patient with throat pain
radiating to the ear post tonsillectomy and a patient
with a throbbing pain through either the external or the
internal carotid artery distribution.
Symptoms are believed to be caused by compression
of the external carotid artery, internal jugular vein,
or cranial nerves  by the deviated, calcifi
ed stylohyoid ligament, or by a fi brous tissue scar
post tonsillectomy.


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