AIM To analyze different terms used in literature to identify lumbar extradural cysts and propose a common scientific terminology; to elaborate a new morphological classification of this pathology, useful for clinical and surgical purposes; and to describe the best surgical approach to remove these cysts, in order to avoid iatrogenic instability or treat the pre-existing one. METHODS We retrospectively reviewed 34 patients with symptomatic lumbar ganglion cysts treated with spinal canal decompression with or without spinal fixation. Microsurgical approach was the main procedure and spinal instrumentation was required only in case of evident preoperative segmental instability. RESULTS The complete cystectomy with histological examination was performed in all cases. All patients presented an improvement of clinical conditions, evaluated by Visual Analogic Scale and Japanese Orthopaedic Association scoring. CONCLUSION Spinal ganglion cysts are generally found in the lumbar spine. The treatment of choice is the microsurgical cystectomy, which generally does not require stabilization. The need for fusion must be carefully evaluated: Preoperative spondylolisthesis or a wide joint resection, during the operation, are the main indications for spinal instrumentation. We propose the terms "ganglion cyst" to finally identify this spinal pathology and for the first time its morphological classification, clinically useful for all specialists.
- Lumbar spine
- Synovial cyst
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine