Facebook Pixel

[Video] Synovial Cyst Overview by Dr. Keshmiri

Read the video transcript below.

Synovial Cyst with Dr. Armin Afsar-Keshmiri

A synovial cyst refers to a fluid filled sac in the spine that is typically eminating from the facet joints.

synovial cyst in facet joint

The facet joints are these small joints in the lumbar spine. They’re very similar to joints such as the hip and knee in that they have a lining called a synovial.


Due to arthritic conditions in the spine, particularly the facet joints, you can develop a cyst in that synovial sac that causes pressure on the nerves.

Oftentimes when we see patients with synovial cysts it can indicate that the spine is unstable and so we typically get x-rays of patients bending and coming backwards to evaluate for any instability.


The severity of symptoms can vary due to the size and location of the cyst.

Synovial Cyst Treatment Methods

Initial conservative treatment includes physical therapy and chiropractic treatment. Sometimes injections can be done into the epidural space around the nerves or even into the facet joint. As a last resort, if the pain is debilitating and/or patients experience weakness in their leg, then surgery would be indicated. In addition to removing the facet cyst, if there is instability, then a fusion operation is indicated.


See more helpful videos on our YouTube Channel

*Please Note: Information on this site or any recommended sites should not be used as a diagnosis or a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.
Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery