How is spinal cyst removal preformed?


Quick Answer

The two most common types of surgeries to remove spinal cysts are decompression and decompression with spine fusion, as stated by Spine-health.com. Although surgery is not the only treatment option available for spinal cysts, it is often times the most effective, according to About.com.

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Full Answer

In a decompression surgery, a surgeon makes a short incision of 1 to 1.5 inches on the back where the cyst is located, explains Spine-health.com. He removes the back muscles off the lamina of the spine, and then removes a membrane covering the nerve roots, allowing him to move the nerve root to the side. He may also remove a small portion of the inside facet joint, to allow access to the nerve root and to relieve nerve pressure in the spine. Finally, he removes the disc material within the spine, along with the cyst attached to it. This surgery has a very short recovery period, but because the original pathology that led to the cyst is not removed, there is a chance that even after decompression, the cyst may return.

A decompression with spinal fusion surgery is more extensive than a decompression surgery alone, as it then stops all movement within the vertebral segment where the cyst originally formed, notes Spine-health.com. First, the surgeon removes the cyst through a decompression, as in the basic version of the surgery. Then, he fuses the vertebrae together by adding a bone graft to the spinal segment. A biological response causes the bone graft to grow between the vertebrae, fusing the bones together. Since this surgery fuses together the vertebrae where the cyst formed, this surgery ensures that cysts do not return to the same spot.

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