Far lateral extraforaminal lumbar synovial cyst: Report of two cases

Loi K. Phuong, John L.D. Atkinson, Kent R. Thielen, Paul C. McCormick, Edward S. Connolly, Gerald E. Rodts, Edward C. Benzel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE AND IMPORTANCE: We present two cases of a far lateral extraforaminal synovial cyst at the L5-S1 level of the spine. Neither case was diagnosed as a synovial cyst before surgery because of their atypical location. Only one other case of an extraforaminal synovial cyst, located at L4-L5, has been reported in the literature. CLINICAL PRESENTATION: Both women presented with radicular leg pain and examination findings consistent with L5 root compression. INTERVENTION: During surgery, the cyst was not associated with the facet joint. One cyst was adherent to the nerve root. Both cysts were completely resected, with excellent pain relief. CONCLUSION: These cases serve as a stimulus to look outside the spinal canal and foramen in patients with symptoms suggesting nerve root compression. Far lateral extraforaminal synovial cyst should be included in the differential diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)505-508
Number of pages4
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2002


  • Cyst
  • Extraforaminal
  • Synovial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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