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What is a synovial cyst?

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Quick Answer

A synovial cyst is a sac filled with fluid that develops on the spine as a result of spine degeneration, according to Spine-health.com. Consequently, it is not commonly seen with patients younger than 45. It is most often seen with patients who are over the age of 65.

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What is a synovial cyst?
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Full Answer

Synovial cysts are relatively benign, and it is possible for a person with a cyst to experience a constant or stable level of discomfort or pain for a number of years without any other problems, notes Spine-health.com.

SpineUniverse explains that a thin tissue, called synovium, creates a fluid that lubricates joints. When joints in the spine start to degenerate, spinal fluid builds up to try and protect them. When the fluid begins to move, some of it may escape from its enclosed surroundings but then stays in the synovium. The leaked fluid creates a sac-like bump on the spine. Even though the cysts can sometimes be quite large, they are not usually problematic and rarely cause any neurological damage or pressure.

Most older patients who experience synovial cysts do not display any symptoms other than lower back pain that eventually travels down the legs. A sitting position can help to relieve the pain as it relieves nerve pressure by widening the spinal canal, notes SpineUniverse.

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