Clinical Images  |   September 2018
Eagle Syndrome
Author Notes
  • From the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Dr Cohn), and the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Lankenau Medical Center in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania (Dr Scharf). 
  • Financial Disclosures: None reported. 
  • Support: None reported. 
  •  *Address correspondence to Jason E. Cohn, DO, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, 4190 City Line Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19131-1694. Email:
Article Information
Imaging / Neuromusculoskeletal Disorders / Clinical Images
Clinical Images   |   September 2018
Eagle Syndrome
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, September 2018, Vol. 118, 629. doi:
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, September 2018, Vol. 118, 629. doi:
A 51-year-old woman presented to the emergency department with odynophagia and pain in her left ear and left side of jaw. On examination, the left tonsillar fossa was tender and firm to palpation. A computed tomographic scan of the neck with contrast revealed a markedly elongated and calcified left stylohyoid ligament at the level of the styloid process (image A) and hyoid bone (image B). Left-sided Eagle syndrome was diagnosed. A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug was prescribed, and the patient was referred for surgical evaluation. 
Eagle syndrome is the abnormal length of the styloid process due to calcification.1 Symptoms include throat pain, foreign body sensation, voice changes, dysphagia, facial paresthesias, and temporomandibular joint dysfunction. The diagnosis of Eagle syndrome can be made by palpating the calcified styloid process in the tonsillar fossa.2 A thickened, calcified styloid process extending from the stylomastoid foramen to the hyoid bone on computed tomographic imaging confirms the diagnosis.3 Eagle syndrome can be managed nonsurgically with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications and steroid injections or surgical styloidectomy via an intraoral or extraoral approach.3 
Mendelsohn AH, Berke GS, Chhetri DK. Heterogeneity in the clinical presentation of Eagle's syndrome. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2006;134(3):389-393. doi: 10.1016/j.otohns.2005.10.046 [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Németh O, Csáki G, Csadó K, Kivovics P. Case report of a 27-year-old patient suffering from Eagle's syndrome. OHDMBSC. 2010;9(3):140-143.
Murtagh RD, Caracciolo JT, Fernandez G. CT findings associated with Eagle syndrome. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2001;22(7):1401-1402. [PubMed]