Clinical Practice and Cases in Emergency Medicine
Eagle Syndrome: A Rare Case of Atraumatic, Painful Cervical Neck Swelling
- Author(s): Worden, Cameron P.
- Bhandari, Sanjeeb S.
- Cable, Benjamin B.
- Kuehl, Damon R.
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.5811/cpcem.2020.3.46284
Introduction: Painful neck swelling is a common emergency complaint but can present diagnostic challenges. Eagle syndrome is a rare clinical entity in which a pathologically elongated styloid process or ossified stylohyoid ligament produces a constellation of symptoms in the head and neck region.
Case Report: We present the case of a 50-year-old male with a spontaneous, atraumatic fracture of an elongated styloid process associated with hematoma formation and radiological findings of airway impingement.
Discussion: The classic triad for Eagle syndrome consists of unilateral cervicofacial pain, globus sensation, and dysphagia. Diagnosis of Eagle syndrome should be made based on a combination of physical examination and radiological findings. Treatment options vary based on severity of symptoms.
Conclusion: Although more likely to be an indolent and progressive complaint, providers in the acute care setting should be familiar with Eagle syndrome due to the potential for a spontaneous fracture of an elongated styloid process to cause acute, painful neck swelling and life-threatening airway compromise.