Eagle syndrome was the cause.
Eagle syndrome — Based on the neck pain after the bodysurfing accident, her symptoms, including the lump in her throat, and the improvement in her voice when she reclined, doctors suspected the rare syndrome. To confirm the diagnosis, Cutter underwent yet another CT scan, it focused on the base of her skull. That scan revealed a styloid process that was just over an inch long. Other tests confirmed the diagnosis and suggested that she was a candidate for styloid surgery. Eagle syndrome occurs when a piece of bone called a styloid process, which extends from the skull into the ear, presses on or irritates adjacent structures, including the glossopharyngeal nerve. The hour-long operation, using a surgical robot, involved clipping the excess bone and removing Cutter’s right tonsil. Post surgery, she lost 20 pounds and spent weeks in physical therapy after her jaw locked because it had been propped open during surgery. Soon, her voice returned to normal and her other symptoms vanished.
Case details as given in the question-
As a professor, Catherine Cutter’s voice was her livelihood. But in 2008, after Cutter’s strong alto voice deteriorated into a raspy whisper, she feared her academic career might be over. The problem began with a lump in her throat. In June 2008, Cutter awoke one morning feeling that something was stuck in her throat. After several weeks, her voice became increasingly raspy. Two months later, no better, Cutter began feeling a spasming sensation when she spoke. She had also noticed something odd: Her voice was normal for the first hour after she awoke and if she sat down or propped her feet up, it got stronger. She began getting migraine headaches and felt an intermittent but intense pain.
Option 1: Glossopharyngeal neuralgia
Option 2: Spasmodic dysphonia
Option 3: Thyroid cancer
Option 4: Myasthenia gravis
Option 5: Eagle syndrome