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Long-term pain relief following percutaneous steroid treatment of spinal synovial cysts: a population-based cohort study
  1. J Levi Chazen
  1. Radiology, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York NY 10065, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr J Levi Chazen, Radiology, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York NY 10065, New York, USA; jlc2008{at}

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Fletcher-Sandersjöö et al present a retrospective cohort study of 38 patients with symptomatic facet synovial cysts who were treated with intra-articular corticosteroid injection.1 Seventy-nine percent of patients received short-term pain relief and almost a third of patients had sustained relief and were able to avoid spinal surgery during long-term follow-up (median 11 years). The authors did not perform synovial cyst rupture as part of their intervention.

Percutaneous rupture of lumbar facet joint synovial cysts has been described in a number of retrospective studies.2–8 Technical success can be achieved in almost all patients using proper image guidance and appropriate technique. Traditionally, fluoroscopy has been used for needle placement as it is widely available, inexpensive, and provides real time procedural guidance. CT imaging provides significant advantages over fluoroscopy for accessing degenerated facet joints that develop synovial cysts as cross-sectional imaging can reveal an approach to osteophytic …

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  • Funding Author receives research grant funding from Insightec, Inc and Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data sharing not applicable as no datasets generated and/or analyzed for this study. Not applicable.

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