CC BY 4.0 · Int Arch Otorhinolaryngol
DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-1776717
Original Research

Role of the Surgical Approach in the Treatment of Eagle Syndrome

Sahil Kapoor
1   Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Faculty of Medical & Health Sciences, SGT University, Gurugram, Haryana, India
2   Department of Otorhinolaryngology, ESIC Hospital & PGIMSR Basaidarapur, New Delhi, India
Sneha Satya
3   Department of Anesthesia, Faculty of Medical & Health Sciences, SGT University, Gurugram, Haryana, India
Poonam K Saidha
4   Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Rama Medical College, Kanpur, India
5   Department of Otorhinolaryngology, ESIC Medical College & Hospital, Faridabad, Haryana, India
Ankesh Singh
6   Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, India
› Author Affiliations
Funding The author(s) declare that they have received no financial support to conduct the present research.


Introduction Eagle syndrome is a rare and an often misdiagnosed entity in otorhinolaryngology.

Objective To determine the efficacy of the surgical treatment for Eagle syndrome.

Methods The present prospective study included 25 patients who presented with complaints of pain in the throat, ear, and neck, as well as difficulty and/or pain while swallowing; they were assessed for Eagle syndrome. As per patient profile, we performed a clinical assessments along with orthopantomograms (OPGs), three-dimensional computed tomography (3D CT) scans, and cone beam computed tomography (CBCT). Pain was assessed pre- and postoperatively through the Numerical Rating Scale-11 (NRS-11), whose score ranges from 0 to 10. Microscopic tonsillo-styloidectomy was performed in cases in which the conservative treatment failed to relieve pain.

Results The mean age of the entire study population was of 36.08 ± 7.19 years, and the male-to-female ratio was of 1.08:1. Referred otalgia was the commonest (44%) complaint. Radiologically, out of 25 patients, 20 patients presented elongated styloid processes. The longest symptomatic styloid process measured radiographically was of 64.7 mm while the shortest was of 28.2 mm. Out of 20 patients, 12 underwent surgery. The postoperative pain assessment through the NRS-11 was performed on day 0 (3.83 ± 0.83), day 7 (1.5 ± 0.52), week 4 (0.5 ± 0.52), and week 12 (0.41 ± 0.51). By 12 weeks, 7 patients were symptom-free, while 5 patients still reported mild pain.

Conclusion Eagle syndrome associated with an elongated styloid process is not a rarity, but it often goes undiagnosed. Microscopic tonsillo-styloidectomy shows excellent results in the management of patients with Eagle syndrome.

Ethics Clearance

The present study was approved by the institutional Ethics in Research Committee.

Publication History

Received: 01 March 2022

Accepted: 08 June 2023

Article published online:
15 March 2024

© 2024. The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, permitting copying and reproduction so long as the original work is given appropriate credit (

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