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hyoid bone problems

History of my problem: For as long as I can remember, I have had a problem with my hyoid bone popping out and causing excrutiating pain. It is always the same - the right side of my neck. At about the age of 8 I talked to my pediatrician about it and he promptly told me it was not possible. That I was having anything "pop out" in my neck. He contended that there wasn't anything there that could pop out. So I just continued to push it back into place whenever it popped out. Back then, it was very easy to push back and only lasted a few seconds until I got it back. About 3 years ago, I noticed that this was happening more and more frequently (used to be about 2-3 times per year) Now it was happening about every month and was much harder to push back. Sometimes taking 20 or more minutes. During that time, it was extremely painful to swallow or talk. After I would finally get it pushed back into place, the pain would go away, but my whole neck would be sore up to my ear and through my jaw. It felt bruised, but no visible bruising on the outside. Over the next couple of years, this problem continued to get worse, happening weekly with some minor "slippage" on a daily basis.  Throughout my life, I have talked to various family practice doctors about this problem. They all contended that it must just be a "lump in my throad" like when you get emotional. Or maybe it's just excess head conjestion. Or maybe it's just a muscle spasm. Or maybe I'm just imagining it. Whatever the case, no one had ever heard of anything like it and no one ever took me seriously. So, I started researching on my own. I could not find anything that sounded like what I had. I posted questions to "Ask and Expert" all over the web. I did get some respones. all of which started with "wow, that is interesting. Never heard of anything like that before." One physician directed me to find a good ENT. So, I did. He took me seriously. He ran tests - CT scans, swallowing x-rays, blood work, etc. I saw a speech pathologist and everything. The swallowing x-rays showed that my hyoid bone did not more in unison. It appeared that the hyoid, which I'm told forms in the womb from 3 point of origin and then fuses into a solid bone before birth, had never fused into the solid bone at all. The ENT that ran the tests did not feel qualified to handle this case, so he referred me to a colleague who does a lot of throat cancer surgery and work around the hyoid bone. He reviewed the tests and theorized that if we removed the portion of the hyoid that was not firmly attached to the rest of the bone, it should solve the problem. I ran this thought process past the head of Otolaryngology at the Mayo Clinic, who had also never heard of such a problem, and he concurred that this theory did make sense. However, there were no guarantees due to the fact that no one had ever seen or heard of anything like it before. So, I went ahead with the surgery on 10/26/06. It seemed to go well. For 3 months, I had no problems. Then on 1/23/07, it popped again, just like it had always done. I immediately went back to the surgeon who is completely at a loss of what to do. His only recommendation is to do more surgery and remove more of the hyoid bone. However, the more they take out the greater the risk of swallowing issues post-surgery. I'm not sure I'm ready to sign up for that again just yet. Since the 1/23 incident, it has happened 3 more times with the last time being only 2 weeks from the previous episode. I'm worried that this is going to continue to get worse again. If it were only going to happen a couple of times a year, I would just deal with it like I have my whole life. But if it gets back to being almost every day, I can't imagine having to continue to deal with that for the rest of my life. As long as the bone is in place, I have no problems. No swallowing problems, no pain, nothing. I just never know when it's going to pop. I do a lot of public speaking and presentations. My greatest fear is that it will happen in front of an audience. The pain is so sudden and intense that I immediatley burst into tears. This is the main reason I have been pursuing this issues to begin with. Any suggestions? I saw in your archives that a person with the nick name of "creyn" described a similar condition back on 11/22/2004 on this web site. Did anyone ever help her? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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I have been reading your stories.  I have been having reoccuring Pharyngitis for many years now and the doctors always say there is nothing that will help and I just have wait it out.  I have recently been going to a Chrio as well and yesterday she said my Hyoid bone seem to be out of place and she popped it back in.  I felt good afterwards with swallowing but not even a day later it seems to be the same again - it hurts (but I am not in tears), pain killers are not doing to much either.  At least one a month I feel like my  I have  a sore, raw throat and hard to swallow, voice sounds husky/scratchy. Glands are swollen and tender, sore neck, headache, earache some time as well. My head feels stuffy and heavy. Does this sound like what you go through as well?  I would be interested to know as this has been on going for a few years and it drives me crazy.  I need answers and help!!  It would be great to hear from you all.
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well funny thing, a few days after I made that post the bone went back, I guess because I kept moving it just playing with it.  It came out the other day but went back in the same day.  So until I have more problems.. I will just assume it was a one time thing.  thanks for all that information!
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After just having an episode a second ago, I typed in "twisting throat tendons" on Google and was directed to this page! I read shell k's entry and was fascinated to read that I have similar symptoms. Mine occurs to the left, center of my throat, just below and to the back of the jawbone. I sing in a choir and sometimes when I am practicing and yawn at the same time - it is like my throat tendons twist. Or if I swallow with my head tilted a certain way it will occur. It will hurt to position my head erect. I have to turn my head to a leftward bow and try to massage it out with my fingertips and move my head gently, and I mean gently because too much movement of the head really hurts, and it can un-twist without trouble but sometimes I have trouble. I never know when it will happen. Then last Wednesday during rehearsal, I had a slight episode and quickly massaged the area before it really cramped. I noticed a crunching feeling in the area. Massaging the area now, I don't. It is very strange and hurts. And after an episode the area feels like a bruise too - sensitive.  I am concerned that it will get worse. I am not a proponent of pills or surgery. I asked a doctor about it many years ago and he told me there is nothing there to cause my throat to get stuck - he said just tendons and had no recommendations.  
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What a relief to find this page ~ after two years of suffering random throat spasms.  The pain you all describe is my pain!  It comes on suddenly, brings me to tears, and happens more and more every day.  I'm finally being scheduled for an MRI to be followed up by a visit to a neurologist.  I'll gladly keep you all posted with my progress (or lack thereof!).  By the way, my pain has always felt like it was at the very base of my throat, left side, and I've never had flu symptoms accompany any attacks.  The ENT exam was clear, but my doctor believes my pain is real, and wants to resolve it.
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OMG...THANK GOD FOR THIS PAGE...I NOW KNOW I'M NOT NUTS...FOR THE PAST YEAR OR SO...I CAN'T EVEN LIKE TURN MY HEAD AND YAWN OR SWALLOW BECAUSE I GET LIKE THIS CLICK IN MY NECK WHICH LEADS TO THE WORST PAIN EVER....I CAN'T SWALLOW I CAN'T MOVE MY NECK AND I HAVE TO LET IT POP BACK IN BY ITSELF....I EVEN ASKED ONE OF THE RADIOLOGISTS AT MY JOB IF THAT'S EVEN POSSIBLE...UR HYOID BONE POPPING OUT OF PLACE AND HE LOOKED AT ME LIKE I WAS CRAZY...I'VE BEEN MEANING TO GET SOFT TISSUE NECK XRAYS BUT WHO KNOWS IF THEY WILL SHOW ANYTHING...SHOULD I GO SEE AN EAR NOSE THROAT DOCTOR? WOULD I BE WASTING MY TIME?
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218452 tn?1253587574
Definitely see an ENT.  It is not a waste of time.  I have seen 5 doctors so far and each time I see one, even though they can't help me so far, I have learned a little more information about hyoids and throats each time.  I am still going to go to another one after the holidays as my problem still hasn't changed.  Good luck and please post back with how you did and any information you think may help the rest of us.
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This is the first time I have ever seen this page. I have suffered with the exact same issue since I was young. I have never forced mine back in place due to the incredible pain. I did have a Dr. perform this once though his recommendation was to wait and let it go back on its own rather than force it. I also went to an acupuncturist and that seemed to work best. I would still like to know if there is anything that can be done to prevent this all together. I have had so many Dr.'s say they have no idea what it is or that it's in my head.,, no it's in my throat.
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I just did this last night and I am waiting to see if and when it will go back. I have been alternating cold/heat and taking advil to help with the swelling.
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242516 tn?1368227505
thanks for sharing so much over these months.

wouldn't it be great if Dr. Saxon of the ENT Clinic at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston could contribute here?

GGCB, it'd be great if you could ask next time you see 'em

i searched on "hyoid dislocation" and "hyoid fracture" but the discussion on this page has the most examples compared to the literature.
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Does anyone know if this Hyoid clicking  can be a result of Anxiety? The tightening of the throat muscles is always a symptom with many Anxiety sufferers and therefore, I just wondered if this 'tightening' would affect the Hyoid bone. I've had my 'clicking' for about 6 weeks now and been to a couple of doctors only to be told there was nothing to worry about. I'ts not painfull just so annoying. I've read that also that Acid Reflux can be a cause, something again which is a symptom of Anxiety.
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I haven't been back to this site for a few months now. I'm just amazed at how many of us have the same or at least similar problems. My surgery was over a year ago now and I still have the same problem. I've been keeping a diary of sort of when it happens, what I'm doing, how long it takes for it to go back, etc. It seems to go in spells. It happens several times in a short period of time and then no problems for 2 or 3 months. It's the same as it has always been as far as what I'm doing when it happens. Mostly when I laugh hard, yawn, stretch while turning my head at the same time. But nowadays it also seems to happen for absolutely no reason. I can just be sitting at my desk and I all of a sudden feel an aching pain on the right side of my neck and then "pop" there it goes and the pain is excrutiating. I think I've just given up on any real solutions. Dr. Choi confirmed above that there just isn't any solid documentation available on what causes this or what to do about it. I guess the best to hope for is that if enough of us complain about it to our doctors and make these types of forums, maybe some doctor somewhere will really concentrate on figuring it out. I gotta tell you, it's pretty deflating to just keep being told, "I dont know" "I've never heard of anything like it before." If we as patients can find this many people who share the same symptoms, why can't a doctor find another doctor who has ever dealt with this problem. We've all seen doctors. Some of us have seen LOTS of doctors. My doctor doesn't seem interested in researching it. He doesnt' have the answer, so just move on to something he already knows how to fix. That's what is the most frustrating.
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242516 tn?1368227505
you said you'd see someone after the holidays...  any luck?
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353964 tn?1238853319
In mid october I lifted a heavy suitcase above my head. Within days my hearing felt clogged, and i've barely had relief from it since. I started to have headaches at the base of my head, which I freaked out about and was told was a tension headache, one day I was sitting in my friends car and i had a sore throat ( in the front ) and I felt something pop back into place. Shortly after that I went back to the ER and was treated for muscle spasms of the neck, I told the doctor about something popping back into place in my throat but he never addressed it. Apparently my neck x-ray came up fine. I thought it went away but It's happened three more times since then. The pain isn't unbearable, mild with some swallowing problems. The center of my throat gets sore and sometimes I get short of breath and cough. I did some poking around on the internet and found this little snippet of info:

" HYOID BONE SYNDROME:
Only bone in body that does not articulate with any other bone. cause is trauma.

Symptoms: chronic constant pain in the lateral side of the throat that radiates to the ear, throat, temple, cheek and TMJ. Pain in the lower molar teeth. upper chest pain. Dizziness or fainting when turning the head towards the injured side. Pain when swallowing. Chronic sore throat, difficult or tightens when swallowing Treatment is surgery. "

Also I was wondering if it was possible for it to break off and travel somewhere. Because that would be scary.
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242516 tn?1368227505
doesn't have anything to break off of.

nope.  wouldn't
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Hello, I can´t believe I found this page!!! It happens to me too,the last time it happened I eneded  up in the hospital for 6 hours!!and they had no idea of what I had, I said I felt something dislocated but they have never heard of it before...The pain is terrible, i cant swallow.It happens when i turn my neck and talk or swallow. I have spondilitis and Hipermoblity sindrome,does anyone else is hipermobile?? I think that might be causing it, thank youu kisses
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Count me in as the latest person to discover this page.   I've had this problem for years with no explanation.    It started whenever I yawned really big, so I learned to not yawn big.   Both my doctor and dentist could not explain this.   Sometimes I find that if I massage my jaw it helps to relax the spasm.  Sometimes I use a hot wash cloth.   I've not found one spot, or bone, that when manipulated relieves the pain but after reading these posts I will try some of the techniques mentioned.   Usually,  if I just stop trying to swallow, and just relax for a few minutes it goes away.   Pretty scary though.    As I get older it seems to be getting worse and happens for no reason at all just lying in bed.  Sure am glad to find some explanations!!   Thank you!
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hello everybody. Went to doctors AGAIN last week with reoccuring swollen 'gland' left side of neck, which happens suddenly and brings with it headache, tingles in cheek, ear pain and raised or lower temperature.  In other words i feel generally awful.  Never heard of this bone, until doctor pressed it and said there was tenderness on the hyoid bone.  I feel uncomfortable in back of throat and swallowing can be uncomforable but nothing more and  nothing has ever 'popped out'. I ended up with anti-depressants and time off work due to stress (thought work stresses were preventing me from feeling better).  Any advice would be gratefully received. Oh, and I also have an old neck injury and get relief by 'cracking' my neck.  Do you think that may have caused something?
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I am 32 years old and last June ,I think it was I started having a sudden
"stab" like sensation in the left side of my throat.  It felt as though something was pushing in from the outer left into the middle of my throat.  It would really startle me and even cause me to cough.  It lasted only a second and really didn't cause me pain, just a strange sensation-
something that should not be there.  It does seem to be positional I guess--I am a nurse and I interview pt's preop so I do alot of talking at work and looking back and forth from patients to my computer and that is mostly where I notice it.  Also if I smile and speak at the same time it will happen.  I've been to an ENT and he looked in my throat with a camera and saw nothing except probable reflux. On his suggestion I took Prilosec for a while but it kept happening.  I asked to be referred to my gastroenterologist who did an EGD and dilated my esophagus and put me on Nexium.  I kept having the sensation though, did an MRI-I have a bulging cervical disc though this is probably not related.  I have been taking Nexium now since December and I am having this problem way less often.  In the meantime I went to see a
neurologist-because no one could explain the problem.  He actually did
mention the hyoid bone and said the problem was not neurological--what
is really amazing is that he called me this evening at home because he found this site and thought I would be interested.  He was researching also, I guess because this is just so strange and inexplainable. He suggested if this keeps bothering me to go back to the ENT, but for now I feel like the Nexium has helped me and frankly I'm sick of worrying about it and not getting any answers.  I also never really related this, but after reading all the posts I too have had the problem with the left side of my throat/neck getting "stuck" like in mid swallow or yawn and being very painful briefly-almost like a muscle spasm and this I can remember happening to me from way back.  Anyway, it is good to hear that I am not making this up and I am not a hyperchondriac-that I am not the only one with this weird **** happening to me.  Like I said before, for me this seems to be related to GERD and I'm thinking the Nexium has helped. I really appreciate the neurologist calling me at home on a Saturday night to tell me about this site. I hope you all find something that helps you too.
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218452 tn?1253587574
Sorry I haven't posted back in a while.  I was unable to get to another doctor yet as I switched jobs and my new insurance does not start until April 1, but I plan on going back again then.  My situation has not improved at all,  Still whenever I turn my head, even slightly to the left, and then loot straight again, my hyoid bone will stick out of the left side of my neck.  A person cannot live without moving their head...I need to work, I need to drive, etc.  I am now 100% convinced that the reason this is happening is because it is getting caught on something inside my neck (possibley my cervial spine?).  If I do not push it back in (while moving the position of my head in different positions so it will slide more easily back into a good position) then my throat thumps/clicks when I swallow, and it also will cause numbness, tingling, and soreness in different areas of my neck, mouth, lips nose, and face (which is telling me that when the bone is caught to the left, it is irritating nerves (hopefully not damaging them!).  Not to mention the extremely uncomfortable feeling 24/7 that my throat is dislocated.  I am still unable to sleep in any other position except on my back (I have never been a back sleeper and my quality of sleep is almost non-existent) with pillows propped on both sides of my head so my head does not move when I sleep and cause problems for when I wake up in the morning.  I am pretty much at the end of what I can tolerate, I do not enjoy doing anything anymore (since everythings requires me to move my head).  Even sitting and watching TV is something I can tolerate for only short periods of time.  I hate to say this, but if my life is going to be like this, then I don't want to be here anymore.  But I will try a little bit longer to find someone to help me.  I have really yet to find someone who would go any further than looking down my throat.  How about some x-rays with the bone sticking out the side?  So far my doctors want to do a conventional x-ray with your head in perfect position...what will that show???  How about taking an x-ray of my neck after I turned my head so that they will see what position the hyoid is in when it is caught...maybe they will see what it is caught on?  I do want to mention one more thing though,  When I stand, my hyoid becomes a little more comfortable (even though the same symptoms are present).  When I sit down, my hyoid bothers me more (thus I wonder if this problem has some relationship with my cervical spine...hyoid getting caught on a bulging disc?...Is that possible?).  Sorry this post is so long, but it has been a while and I wanted to let everyone know the status.  I truly hope that there is nobody else out there as bad as this (if there is, then I am sorry for you), as this has totally changed my life.  The quality of my life is gone, I can no longer do most of the things I used to do and the little left that I do, I no longer enjoy.  I don't look forward to tomorrow, I dread it.
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I have the very similar problems!
I thought I was the only one to suffer from that condition!
But I don't speak english: I'm Italian..

Bye
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