Case report: an atypical presentation of Eagle syndrome

Gallaway, Edward, Bayoumi, Sherif, Hammond, Douglas and Halsnad, Moorthy (2017) Case report: an atypical presentation of Eagle syndrome. Journal of Surgical Case Reports, 2017 (8). rjx152.

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Elongation of the styloid process occurs in 4-7% of individuals. In the majority this elongation is asymptomatic. Presence of oropharyngeal pain and dysphagia with such elongation is known as Eagle syndrome. The aetiology of Eagle syndrome is believed to be a reactive osseus hyperplasia of the styloid process in response to pharyngeal trauma or surgical intervention, such as tonsillectomy. We present a case of a 72-year-old lady with a twelve month history of left sided oropharyngeal pain and worsening dysphagia, presenting with a long, slender, bony intraoral projection found to be an elongated styloid process. She previously underwent tonsillectomy and radiotherapy on the left side for a tonsillar carcinoma. Surgical reduction of the elongated styloid process via intraoral approach led to immediate post-operative pain relief and normal swallowing. We conclude that this atypical presentation of Eagle syndrome was caused by the patient's prior treatment for tonsillar carcinoma.

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