This week will show a common anatomical variant – an ossified stylohyoid ligament. This can occur unilaterally or bilaterally. This is an incidental finding. Many students tend to jump to Eagle’s syndrome as soon as they see an ossified stylohyoid ligament; however for Eagle’s syndrome to be considered the patient must have PAIN when rotating the head. This pain is due to impingement of the nerves by the ossified stylohyoid ligament. If a patient has no pain with rotation of the head and there is an ossified stylohyoid ligament/s evident on a pantomograph, no further evaluation or treatment is necessary. This case shows bilateral ossified stylohyoid ligaments. This presents as a linear radiopaque entity lateral to the ramus/rami of the mandible. It may appear superimposed over the distal aspect of the ramus/rami. Note the linear radiopaque entities just lateral to the rami.
For more information and other radiographs of ossified stylohyoid ligaments check out the page on ossified stylohyoid ligament.