Lumbar facet cyst resolution following anterior interbody fusion.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Facet cysts are a relatively common source of neural compression in the lumbar spine. Open decompression and fusion are frequently used to treat the stenosis and instability associated with this pathology. Recently, anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) has increased in popularity for the treatment of lumbar degenerative conditions. ALIF may achieve indirect decompression of the neural elements with less surgical morbidity than conventional open approaches. To date, there are no published reports describing the use of indirect decompression or interbody fusion for the treatment of facet cysts. We report a patient who developed an L4-L5 facet cyst secondary to degenerative changes and spondylolisthesis. ALIF with posterior instrumentation was used to address his condition. Six months after surgery, the patient had complete resolution of his symptoms. MRI revealed complete resolution of the facet cyst. This patient provides previously unreported evidence that interbody fusion alone may result in facet cyst resolution. Clinical studies are needed to evaluate if interbody fusion can consistently relieve the symptoms associated with facet cysts without the use of direct decompression.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Massey, GM; Caputo, AM; Michael, KW; Isaacs, RE; Brown, CR

Published Date

  • December 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 20 / 12

Start / End Page

  • 1771 - 1773

PubMed ID

  • 23871387

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1532-2653

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jocn.2012.12.021


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Scotland