What is the role of surgery in the treatment of cystic lesions of the knee?

Updated: Dec 29, 2018
  • Author: David M Gonzalez, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Thomas M DeBerardino, MD  more...
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Surgical therapy by excision of the mass is the mainstay of treatment for most symptomatic cysts that are not bursal in nature and that have not responded to nonsurgical treatment. [25, 26] (Note: Treatment should be directed at the cause of the enlarged cyst, such as adventitial bursal cysts caused by an osteochondroma or an enlarged Baker cyst that requires addressing intra-articular causes through arthroscopic surgical procedures.) Other cysts, such as meniscal cysts, extraneural cysts, and ganglion cysts, can respond to surgical excision.

In a study of meniscal tears and associated parameniscal cysts, partial meniscectomy alone, without meniscal cyst decompression, was found to provide excellent short-term and medium-term outcomes. Patients with medial cysts greater than 1.0 cm, with horizontal cleavage tears, or without simultaneous chondroplasty scored higher in the short-term and medium-term. [27]


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