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Synovial cysts at l4-L5?

Is there anyone else out there who suffered from synovial cysts forming off their facet joints? What were your experiences? What course of treatment did you choose?

L4-L5 Laminectomy & synovial cysts removal 5/2013
Right total hip replacement 11/2013
Left wrist basal thumb arthritis surgery 10/2013
Left total hip replacement 8/2012
Right Knee meniscus tear surgery 5/2012 & 10/2012


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832

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    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
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  • Hi Robyn,
    I had Synovial cyst at L4-L5 that was pressing on my sciatic nerve back in 2008. It was the worst pain I've ever had in my life. Worse than the lumbar fusion I'm getting through right now. I told my husband at the time that I could understand why people who had that kind of pain, without a chance of ever getting better, would consider suicide. I never contemplated it, but it was the definitely the lowest point in my life.

    Because of that, it was a no brainer for me to have the cyst removed. It was an out patient procedure so I was home that afternoon. Minimally invasive surgery. I have a 1" scar that's barely visible now. The neurosurgeon said he got it all so there's very little chance of another one forming. If they don't get it all, there's a chance another one could form off of it. The nerve itself took some time to heal, but there's nothing you can do about that.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
    Synovial cyst removal in 2008. L4-L5 facet joint.
    Lumbar fusion at L4-L5 in December 2013. TLIF posterior entry
  • prusso13pprusso13 Posts: 5
    edited 02/07/2014 - 12:51 PM
    I had one develop at L5-S1. The joint came apart, collapsed, and the cyst grew from the damaged synovial lining. It was large and attached to the cord, and the lateral sciatic nerve. This was really a bad situation, laying down made the pain unbearable. I had no appetite, I felt like I had ate a large meal all the time. After 2 days of this they got me into the spine center, diagnosed it, had me on a table and were able to drain it just enough to give me a day to get checked in to the spine hospital so they could get steroids injected around it to soften it. I was under sedation but able to tell them what was happening as they began the injections. That then bought me enough relief and surgery was scheduled to fuse the joint and add new rods to the fused joints above. So now I have a three level fusion. I hope you don't have to go through any of that. Most of the time I'm told they don't cause much of any problems. Good Luck!
  • Shari514SShari514 Posts: 121
    edited 02/14/2014 - 3:37 AM
    I've had these, as well at L4/L5. I had a lumbar laminectomy in 2006 which gave me much relief for 2.5 years. Then I spent 4 years going through injections and radiofrequency nerve ablations, which gave me some good relief. More recently I underwent a fusion at that level and am doing great. Now that the movement has stopped there, I shouldn't be able to form them again...fingers crossed!
    Lumbar laminectomy L-4/L-5, 2006
    XLIF with posterior pedicle screws L-4/L-5, 4-23-2013
  • I had a cyst removed from L4/5 - right side - almost four weeks ago. The pain is heaps better but I still have some lingering pain on the right side of my pelvis and lateral aspect of my hip. The physic said this was likely muscular but I don't agree. I think it is same pain but much less intense. I have read about the nerve needing time to heal. Can anyone with experience in this tell me what they felt afterwards that was attributed to the nerve still healing and how to know it is improving? I am pleased to have so much less pain but anxious due to the lingering pain. I have returned to work but not doing any heavy lifting.
    (Laminotomy with removal of RT L4/% spinal synovial cyst 24/10/2014
  • Karen, it took a good six weeks after my laminectomy for all the pain to diminish. It WAS less intense, but it took time. Of course, it scars you half to death, worrying that the surgery didn't work. Read about synovial cysts....I find myself wondering if I should have been fused back in 06 and avoided a second surgery. Anyway.....hope you continue to improve.
    Lumbar laminectomy L-4/L-5, 2006
    XLIF with posterior pedicle screws L-4/L-5, 4-23-2013
  • Thanks Shari for your response. My surgeon said that he felt a fusion at this stage would be too invasive but said it may be necessary in a few years time. I guess your cyst reformed? How has the fusion been??
  • Shari514SShari514 Posts: 121
    edited 11/21/2014 - 9:01 AM
    Yes, they came back with a vengeance! I had 2.5 years with absolutely no pain after the laminectomy. It came back just one day out of the blue. I did 4 years of shots, meds, radio frequency treatments, etc. The fusion changed my life (in a good way); I hadn't been able to admit to myself how much pain I was in. It's been 19 months since surgery and I feel great! I flare up from time to time; I take an anti-inflammatory every day and Tramadol several times per week; I have Norco and Zanaflex on hand for when it gets bad. I work out with a trainer 3x pet week, I've gone snow skiing, I just came home from a cycling trip to France where I rode my bike for six days with the longest day being 40 miles (yes, it hurt) and this week I'll have a house full of guests and I'm cooking Thanksgiving for 22 people!! So, yes, for me, the fusion was totally worth it! Are you going in for surgery or just trying to live with it for now? Best of luck to you, I hope you have some pain free days ahead of you!
    Lumbar laminectomy L-4/L-5, 2006
    XLIF with posterior pedicle screws L-4/L-5, 4-23-2013
  • I'm sorry, you just had surgery....i KNOW that! I hope you have an excellent result, Karen!
    Lumbar laminectomy L-4/L-5, 2006
    XLIF with posterior pedicle screws L-4/L-5, 4-23-2013
  • Thanks for the info Shari. I am pleased you are doing so well. You seem really positive and that is most of the battle.I had my first bike ride since my surgery today and it went well. I am just frustrated the pain is still lingering. The physic asked what I was taking for pain and I said panadol mostly but now and again I still need a tramadol....to which he responded " most people are not on pain meds at this stage" ... I think that crushed me. When I said I have lingering nerve pain he said it was muscle.... so it left me deflated. I know it's nerve pain... I have lived with it long enough. I just wanted to know if it was normal to still feel slight discomfort. Enjoy your visitors and all that cooking!!!
  • dianenoddianeno doncasterPosts: 42

    RobynM39 said:

    Is there anyone else out there who suffered from synovial cysts forming off their facet joints? What were your experiences? What course of treatment did you choose?


    How are you and how is your cyst ? I hope u are well now?
    I have the same as you so be nice to chat if u still come on here as your post is 2014 
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