European Spine Journal

, Volume 19, Issue 10, pp 1621–1626 | Cite as

Discal cysts of the lumbar spine: report of five cases and review of the literature

  • Sabri Aydin
  • Bashar AbuzayedEmail author
  • Hakan Yildirim
  • Hakan Bozkus
  • Metin Vural
Review Article


Discal cysts are rare causes of low back pain and radiculopathy. Only few reports in the literature describe these pathologies. In this article, the authors report five cases (3 males and 2 females) of lumbar discal cysts treated surgically by microdiscectomy. These patients were admitted with a history of back pain and/or sciatalgia. Magnetic resonance imaging of the lumbar spine of all patients revealed lumbar discal cysts, causing compression to the spinal dura and roots. All patients were treated by partial hemilaminectomy and microscopic cyst resection. Postoperatively, the complaints showed improvement, and the patients were discharged with no complications. The cases of lumbar discal cysts are described in the literature as individual case reports, therefore; the authors performed a wide systemic review of all these cases published in PubMed and MedLine, including the patients in the present report. The data of all patients were analyzed to obtain statistically based estimated information about the incidence, the epidemiology, the natural history and the optimum management of these lesions.


Discal cyst Intervertebral disc Lumbar vertebrae Surgical treatment 


  1. 1.
    Baker JK, Hanson GW (1994) Cyst of the ligamentum flavum. Spine 19:1092–1094CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Chiba K, Toyama Y, Matsumoto M, Maruiwa H, Watanabe M, Nishizawa T (2001) Intraspinal cyst communicating with the intervertebral disc in the lumbar spine: discal cyst. Spine 26(19):2112–2118CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Chou D, Smith JS, Chin CT (2007) Spontaneous regression of a discal cyst: case report. J Neurosurg Spine 6(1):81–84CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Coscia MF, Broshears JR (2002) Lumbar spine intracanalicular discal cysts: two case reports. J Spinal Disord Tech 15(5):431–435PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Demaerel P, Eerens I, Goffin J, Wilms G (2001) Spontaneous regression of an intraspinal disc cyst. Eur Radiol 11:2317–2318CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Dumay-Levesque T, Souteyrand AC, Michel JL (2009) Steroid injection performed with fluoroscopy for treatment of a discal cyst. J Rheumatol 36(8):1841–1843CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hsu KY, Zucherman JF, Shea WJ, Jeffrey RA (1995) Lumbar intraspinal synovial and ganglion cysts (facet cysts). Ten-year experience in evaluation and treatment. Spine 20:80–89CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hwang JH, Park IS, Kang DH, Jung JM (2008) Discal cyst of the lumbar spine. J Korean Neurosurg Soc 44(4):262–264CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ishii K, Matsumoto M, Watanabe K, Nakamura M, Chiba K, Toyama Y (2005) Endoscopic resection of cystic lesions in the lumbar spinal canal: a report of two cases. Minim Invasive Neurosurg 48(4):240–243CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Jeong GK, Bendo JA (2003) Lumbar intervertebral disc cyst as a cause of radiculopathy. Spine J 3(3):242–246CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kang H, Liu WC, Lee SH, Paeng SS (2008) Midterm results of percutaneous CT-guided aspiration of symptomatic lumbar discal cysts. AJR Am J Roentgenol 190(5):310–314CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Kanoke A, Suzuki S, Nimura T, Utsunomiya A, Suzuki I, Nishino A, Suzuki H, Uenohara H (2008) Case report of lumbar discal cyst. No Shinkei Geka 36(2):159–163 (in Japanese)PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kim JS, Choi G, Jin SR, Lee SH (2009) Removal of a discal cyst using a percutaneous endoscopic interlaminar approach: a case report. Photomed Laser Surg 27(2):365–369CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kim JS, Choi G, Lee CD, Lee SH (2009) Removal of discal cyst using percutaneous working channel endoscope via transforaminal route. Eur Spine J 18(Suppl 2):201–205CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Koenigsberg RA (1998) Percutaneous aspiration of lumbar synovial cyst: CT and MRI considerations. Neuroradiology 40:272–273CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Koga H, Yone K, Yamamoto T, Komiya S (2003) Percutaneous CT-guided puncture and steroid injection for the treatment of lumbar discal cyst: a case report. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 28(11):E212–E216Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Kono K, Nakamura H, Inoue Y, Okamura T, Shakudo M, Yamada R (1999) Intraspinal extradural cysts communicating with adjacent herniated disks: imaging characteristics and possible pathogenesis. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol 20(7):1373–1377PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Lee HK, Lee DH, Choi CG, Kim SJ, Suh DC, Kahng SK, Roh SW, Rhim SC (2006) Discal cyst of the lumbar spine: MR imaging features. Clin Imaging 30(5):326–330CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Marushima A, Uemura K, Sato N, Maruno T, Matsumura A (2008) Osteolytic lumbar discal cyst: case report. Neurol Med Chir (Tokyo) 48(8):363–366CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Murata K, Ikenaga M, Tanaka C, Kanoe H, Okuaaira S (2007) Discal cysts of the lumbar spine: a case report. J Orthop Surg (Hong Kong) 15(3):376–379Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Nabeta M, Yoshimoto H, Sato S, Hyakumachi T, Yanagibashi Y, Masuda T (2007) Discal cysts of the lumbar spine. Report of five cases. J Neurosurg Spine 6(1):85–89CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Ogawa Y, Kumano K, Hirabayashi S, Aota Y (1992) A ganglion cyst in the lumbar spinal canal: a case report. Spine 17:1429–1431CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Okada K, Saito H, Nishida J, Miyakoshi N, Takahashi S, Nagasawa H, Suzuki N, Chida S (2007) Discal cyst associated with myxoid change and apoptosis of herniated disc materials: a case report. Ups J Med Sci 112(1):39–47CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Onofrio BM, Mih AD (1988) Synovial cysts of the spine. Neurosurgery 22:642–627Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Sakas DE, Farrell MA, Young S, Toland J (1995) Posterior thecal lumbar disc herniation mimicking synovial cyst. Neuroradiology 37:192–194CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Tokunaga M, Aizawa T, Hyodo H, Sasaki H, Tanaka Y, Sato T (2006) Lumbar discal cyst followed by intervertebral disc herniation: MRI findings of two cases. J Orthop Sci 11(1):81–84CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Toyama Y, Kamata N, Matsumoto M, Nishizawa T, Koyanagi T, Suzuki N (1997) Pathogenesis and diagnostic title of intraspinal cyst communicating with intervertebral disk in the lumbar spine. Rinsho Seikei Geka 32:393–400 (in Japanese)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sabri Aydin
    • 1
  • Bashar Abuzayed
    • 2
    Email author
  • Hakan Yildirim
    • 3
  • Hakan Bozkus
    • 1
  • Metin Vural
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryVKV American HospitalIstanbulTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Neurosurgery, I.U. Cerrahpasa Medical FacultyIstanbul UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyVKV American HospitalIstanbulTurkey

Personalised recommendations