Synovial cysts in the spine?

Hi all, will try not to ramble as much as usual :-)

Finally got RA diagnosis this week and seeing rheumy nurse next week to start Methotrexate.

Rheumy doc had a radiologist look at an old MRI scan from 5 years ago (which diagnosed osteo. in neck) but apparently there were also synovial cysts in lumbar spine which weren't spotted by original radiologist. She's sending me for a new MRI for comparison, but thinks the RA might be affecting them. Back's been a bit iffy, but so has everywhere else :-D

Does anyone have synovial cysts in the spine? Never heard of them before. What treatment did you need for them?

9 Replies

  • I didn't have synovial cysts in my spine. I had one on my toe. It was a strange thing. I thought it was a blister coming up on my big toe. This got larger & larger becoming very painful to walk. I was sent to orthopaedics had XRay consultant confirmed synovial cyst . Consultant said it was attached to the joint I had arthritis in the toe. It required an operation. To do this they had to do a skin graft flap take out the cyst attached to joint and shave the bone. All from what I thought was a little blister! Anyway, complete success and no return. Flap/skin graft took well. Strange how it pushed to the outside?

    I can imagine the pain you must be in within your spine let's hope the pesky things do not give you to much pain.

    Hope your RA will soon be under control

    Best wishes

    Jen x

  • Thanks for replying, Jen. What odd things our bodies can get up to!

    It must have come as a surprise what you thought to be a blister turning out to be much more complicated. Good to hear that your op was a complete success. :-)

    Not sure what will happen with mine, suppose it depends on the MRI, if they're growing or not...can't say I've noticed much extra pain so far, luckily.

    Will have to wait and see what MRI shows I suppose. (Not very good at waiting :-))

    Take care Jen,


  • Join the club at waiting. Let's hope they stay as they are.

    Jen x

  • Hi

    I have synovial cyst on l4 l5 mine causing compression & severe sciatica

    But they do say that some people can have them for many years and discover them purely by accident with no symptoms

    Hope you had your mri by now

  • Hi, thanks for replying, sorry to hear you're having a lot of pain. Sciatica is the pits isn't it.

    Can I ask, did they discover you had the cyst by MRI?

    I am still no further along, the MRI result came back that they found an 'abnormality' but it was 'unclear' what it was, so waiting for an appt. to Walton Spinal unit next.

    I am wondering how they will find out what it is if it's not clear by MRI. Also don't know why rheumy suggested it might be a cyst without clear evidence.

    Whatever is going on is in L1 area.

    Are you having any treatments?

    I will post here when I get any more news.

    Thanks for replying! Keep in touch if you like, would be interested to know how you're getting on


  • Yes mine was like a clear white solid pea sized lump on the MRI cannot miss it

    They say normally synovial cysts are in the l4 l5 area, utube is a good place to look as they have many spine surgeons who share MRI results operation ect, maybe synovial cysts show clear due to the outer layer ?? As if they say yours maybe cyst then could be different type ? I hope you get answers soon, as not knowing is at times more worrying, as least once you know what is wrong then you can move forward & research to

    Hope that helps x

  • Yes, it does :-) thank you very much dianebow. Have just been looking at the YouTube's, they look very clear on the MRI's.

    Looking forward (sort of, lol, not quite the right phrase) to finding out what's going on - a bit nervousTBH, as you say it's the not knowing what's going on.

  • Sorry had cortisone steroid injection in facet, unfortunately for me it didn't work, due to high pain cannot have physio, so it's strong pain killers & tens machine for me, while I'm waiting for surgeon to remove it & put in a implant to stop regrowth

    Between 8 & 12 week wait for surgery, that was two week ago, so waiting eagerly for the letter coming

    Hate tablets hate to think of operation

    But desperate to get rid of this pain as cyst has compressed nerves which cause sciatic type pains to

  • I hope you get your letter soon, so you can get your OP, and start feeling better.

    I guess you're feeling nervous and eager at the same time, think that's how I'd feel too.

    You'll feel so much better once they get rid of the cyst and the pressure on your nerves is gone.

    Wishing you all the best, a quick recovery from the op and being sciatica free!

    Let us know how it goes won't you. And thanks so much for the info. :-)

    Will post here when I get my results, really curious what it is now. Trying not to imagine 'Alien' growing in my spine, lol My daft SOH.

    Good luck xxxx

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