Synovial cysts at the cervicothoracic junction: Illustrative series of three cases

Darrion Bo Yun Yang, James Harms, Ravishankar K. Iyer, Paul Arnold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Spinal synovial cysts are an uncommon pathology, estimated to affect 0.65–2.6% of the population. Cervical spinal synovial cysts are even rarer, accounting for only 2.6% of spinal synovial cysts. They are more commonly found in the lumbar spine. When they occur, they can compress the spinal cord or surrounding nerve roots resulting in neurological symptoms, particularly when they increase in size. Decompression and cyst resection are the most common treatment and typically result in resolution of symptoms. Methods: The authors present three cases of spinal synovial cysts occurring at the C7–T1 junction. They occurred in patients aged 47, 56, and 74, respectively, and presented with symptoms of pain and radiculopathy. Diagnosis was made with computed tomography (CT) scan and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The cysts were managed with laminectomy, resection, and fusion. Results: All patients reported full resolution of symptoms. There were no intra or postoperative complications. Conclusion: Cervical spinal synovial cysts are an uncommon cause of radiculopathy and pain in the upper extremities. They can be diagnosed through CT scans and MRI, and treatment with laminectomy, resection, and fusion results in excellent outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA3
JournalSurgical Neurology International
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Laminectomy
  • Spinal synovial cysts
  • Spine surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Synovial cysts at the cervicothoracic junction: Illustrative series of three cases'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this