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Tarlov cyst

Hello Everyone.  Just wondering if any of you have heard or experienced tarlov cyst in sacral area ?  I had a L4/5 fusion in March 2017 and for the past few months have been experiencing low back and sciatica pain on the left side. Had an MRI and it didn’t show anything much except this tarlov cyst .  Just curious as I’ve never heard of this ?



  • lovemygirls, my 2013 MRI showed a Tarlov cyst on both sides at the L1-L2 and a couple in the sacrum area...I think they're called perineural root sleeve cysts...my 2017 MRI either didn't show them or the radiologist didn't list them.  Some reading up on them stated that they can cause issues and pain while other articles blow them off as a non issue, so I don't know.  I've got other stuff going in in the same areas, so I don't know if they're the root of any pain or not.  My pain management doctors don't seem too concerned about it, but that doesn't mean they're not an issue.  I hope you find out what you need about it and they don't cause you any problems

    I think I read where if they're surgically removed there's a chance they can grow back...but I don't know

    If I remember, there may be a post or two about this, so put Tarlov cyst in the search box, and you may come up with something

  • Thank you !!  

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  • lovemygirls,

    Tarlov Cysts are often not mentioned because they have believed that they are incidental findings and don't cause pain.If the cyst is alongside the nerve, and if it is large enough and compressing the nerve, it is very likely that it will cause pain just like anything that is compressing the nerve.

    This view is changing and there are just a few doctors who will do surgery on them.  I think they are often found in people who have EDS or are hypermobile.

  • Hello lovemygirls - I had an MRI completed recently for lower back pain.  Although the pain seems to stem from L4-L5 degenerative changes (disc bulge, lateral recess narrowing with compression), the MRI picked up a 1.2 Tarlov cyst at T11-T12, Tarlov cysts at T12-L1, and Tarlov cysts at L1-L2.  I've read that Tarlav cysts show up in only 5-9% of the population.  So, oh joy, we're among the few.  I've also read that they are incredibly difficult to remove.  There appears to be only 2-3 surgeons in the U.S. who will remove them.  Some will extract the fluid and replace with some type of glue (but now I'm using layman words).  

    Yesterday I had my first appointment with a spine specialist.  We discussed a number of things concerning my MRI results.  When I asked him about the cysts, he just shrugged his shoulders and didn't express any concern about them at all.  I'm going to try and not worry about them.  Who knows how long I've had them anyway.    

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