What Treatments Are Available for a Degenerative Subchondral Cyst?

Although there is no known aggressive treatment for subchondral degenerative cysts as of 2015, two rarely used methods include surgery or a prescription of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, states Health Articles 101. Most doctors recommend leaving the cyst alone, according to About.com.

Subchondral cysts are known to improve without any medical attention, but the actual disease does not typically go away, states About.com. When a cyst appears, it indicates early stages of osteoarthritis, and when causing discomfort, can be treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to help prevent further pain. Another recommendation includes avoiding activities that increase pressure on joints.

The cyst begins to form when there is a lack of blood flow, in addition to other contributory changes, occurring in the subchondral layer of the bone located beneath cartilage, states About.com. With less blood circulation and increased physical strain on the bone, cysts begin to appear. The cyst starts to noticeably protrude from the joint as it turns into a sac, collecting joint matter made up of mostly hyaluronic acid. This substance is found in joint fluid and is originally meant to lubricate the joint. Subchondral cysts can also contribute to degenerative arthritis, which aids in forming joint deformities, states Health Articles 101.