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Orthopedics. 2011 Jan 1;34(2):135. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20101221-31.

Symptomatic intratendinous ganglion cyst of the patellar tendon.

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Department of Radiology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, FL 33136, USA.


Ganglion cysts have been previously described throughout the body, most commonly about the wrist, hand, knee, ankle, and feet. When symptomatic, they may interfere with joint mechanics, resulting in snapping, catching, and locking. Intratendinous ganglion cysts lack a synovial epithelial lining and are thought to develop from the mucoid degeneration of connective tissue caused by chronic irritation, chronic repetitive injury, and chronic ischemia. On magnetic resonance imaging, ganglion cysts originating from tendons, ligaments, tendon sheaths, menisci, or joint capsules appear as well-defined lobulated masses that follow simple or complex fluid signal intensity on all pulse sequences, with enhancing walls and internal septations on post-contrast images. There may be appreciable degeneration and partial tearing of the structure of origin, particularly if associated with tendons. On ultrasonography, they present as hypoechoic masses, with internal septations and lobulations of varying sizes, without significant vascularity on power or color Doppler sampling. A thin fluid neck extending from the structure of origin (tail sign), when present, is a reliable sign of a ganglion cyst. This article describes a sonographically guided technique to treat symptomatic ganglion cysts within the patellar tendon. Complete evacuation of the ganglion cyst, with disappearance of the tail sign, is considered the determining factor for a successful procedure. A similar technique can be used for the treatment of other symptomatic intratendinous ganglion cysts elsewhere in the body. To our knowledge, symptomatic intratendinous ganglion cysts within the patellar tendon and their treatment have not been previously reported.

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