BILATERAL ELONGATED STYLOID PROCESS: ITS ANATOMICAL EMBRYOLOGICAL AND CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS.
The styloid process is a slender, elongated, cylindrical bony projection from temporal bone. It normally varies in length from 2 cm to 3 cm. During a routine demonstration of skull for MBBS students we found the bilateral elongated styloid process in dry human skull. The length of elongation measured on the right and left side was 6.0 & 5.9 cms respectively. Such abnormal elongation of the styloid process may cause compression on a number of vital vessels and nerves related to it, producing inflammatory changes that include continuous chronic pain in the pharyngeal region. Mechanical stresses stretching the second brachial arch during fetal development probably induce variable involvement of Reichert's cartilage in morphogenesis of the styloid process. It is important that clinicians especially dentists and otolaryngologists are aware of the natural variations of the styloid process and do not consider the styloid process with a length of 30 mm as an abnormality or as an anomaly