Eagle's syndrome is characterized by a group of clinical symptoms the origin of which is the calcification of the stylohyoid ligament.
The stylohyoid ligament, as its name shows, is a ligament that goes from the styloid in the base of the skull to the hyoid bone in the neck. It divides the parapharyngeal space.
The principal way to diagnose Eagle's syndrome is by its symptoms, e.g.: pain in the tonsil region that may irradiate towards the carotid and larynx zones, headache, earache, tinnitus, feeling of blocked ears, excessive production of saliva (sialorrhea), dysphonia, dysphagia, limitation of the movements of the neck, noisy temporomandibular joint, feeling of a lump on the back of the mouth that forces the patient to swallow constantly, vertigo and transitory syncope.
During the exploration the patient usually feels pain in the palatine tonsils area, which eases with a local anaesthetic.
If it is suspected to be Eagle's syndrome radiographies and topographies will be performed.
The only way to treat it is through surgery.
The procedure consist in an unilateral or bilateral extirpation of the ossified ligament. It can be done intraorally through the oropharynx, or by an external (cervical) approach.
In Dr. Máiz’s experience, external route approach is not only safer but provides a significantly less painful postoperative.