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Neurosurgery. 1994 Jun;34(6):989-93; discussion 993.

Experience with symptomatic spinal epidural cysts.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Lahey Clinic, Burlington, Massachusetts.


Epidural cysts, either synovial or ganglion, are an unusual cause of epidural compressive syndromes. We report a series of 26 patients with cysts, including 1 cervical, 2 thoracic, and 23 lumbar. Complaints at the time of admission and findings were similar to those associated with other epidural lesions at the same locations. The surgical technique is similar to that for other spinal lesions, with a wide exposure to enable a clear view of the cyst and surrounding structures, and is governed by imaging studies. Patients with cervical and thoracic lumbar cysts were free of symptoms and signs postoperatively. Of the 23 patients with lumbar cysts, 15 were free of symptoms after an operation, 7 had symptomatic improvement but had some pain and neurological findings, and 1 patient had no improvement. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging permit accurate preoperative evaluation.

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