What’s the diagnosis 009

Here’s an image sent to me by a good friend and mentor in EM from up North.

Any ideas what’s wrong with this image?


[peekaboo_link name=”Click for answer”]Click for answer[/peekaboo_link][peekaboo_content name=”Click for answer”]

While it may look like this person has swallowed a baby it’s not actually the case.

There is calcification of the stylo-hyoid ligament. If this is associated with neck pain and dysphagia then it rejoices in the moniker “Eagle’s Syndrome.”


As a quick anatomy reminder:


The hyoid bone is held suspended between the floor of the mouth and the laryngeal skeleton. It’s mobility comes from the attached muscles and lack of any joint to the rest of the head and neck. The ligament lies parallel to the muscle of the same name.


In Eagle’s syndrome it can be either calcification of the ligament or an elongated styloid process that causes the symptoms. Of note an elongated styloid is fairly common, Eagle’s syndrome is as rare as hen’s teeth as they say…


The proximity of the styloid to the carotid sheath (and to CNvs 9-12) explains the symptoms that are sometimes present – dysphagia and very occasionally stroke.[/peekaboo_content]

About Andy Neill

EM Reg/Resident based near Dublin. Former anatomy lecturer, theology student and occasional musician @andyneill | + Andy Neill | Contact


  1. […] What’s the diagnosis? 09 Tricky case Andy…Have you heard of “Eagles Syndrome”? […]

Speak Your Mind