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Int J Surg. 2016 May;29:9-11. doi: 10.1016/j.ijsu.2016.03.003. Epub 2016 Mar 10.

Surgical management of Juxtafacet cysts in the lumbar spine.

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Department of Neurosurgery, İzmir Training and Research Hospital, İzmir, Turkey. Electronic address:
Department of Neurosurgery, Şehit Kamil Devlet Hastenesi, Gaziantep, Turkey.
Department of Neurosurgery, İzmir Training and Research Hospital, İzmir, Turkey.



Juxtafacet cysts of the lumbar spine are extradural degenerative lesions associated with symptoms of lower back pain and radiculopathy. The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of surgery and address controversial issues in the treatment of symptomatic juxta facet cysts in the Neurosurgical Department of our hospital and review of the literature.


Data from seven patients (age range 58-68 years, mean age 63 years) with low back and radicular leg pain due to a lumbar facet joint cyst were retrospectively analyzed. Demographic data, cyst level, presence of concominant local pathology, treatment and results of treatment were recorded. After surgery there was no case of a recurrent cyst during the follow-up period. The mean follow-up period of patients at the time of this study was 4 years.


All patients had back pain, while five also experienced unilateral radicular leg pain and two had bilateral leg pain. Four patients had neurogenic claudication. MRI identified the cyst and highlighted underlying pathology in all cases. All patients underwent surgical cyst excision. Post-operatively, all patients showed a total resolution of symptoms with sustained benefit at final evaluation.


Surgery is a safe and effective treatment for lumbar juxtafacet cysts.


Facet joint; Ganglion cyst; Juxtafacet cyst; Surgical treatment; Synovial cyst

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