A 50 year old lady comes in with four months of left back, buttock, and hip pain. The pain travels down her lateral buttock and thigh to her knee. She has seen a chiropractor, tried physical therapy, and used a topical anti-inflammatory all without significant relief.
- Preoperative AP (anteroposterior) X-ray shows mild degenerative changes.
- Preoperative lateral X-ray shows mild degenerative changes. Grade 1 spondylolisthesis at L3-4
- Axial T2-weighted MRI shows a left-sided synovial cyst at L3-4 impinging on the traversing nerve root
- Sagittal T2-weighted MRI (line indicates location of axial L3-4 MRI image)
The patient elected to proceed with a minimally invasive left L3-4 decompression with excision of synovial cyst. The entire procedure was done through a less than a one-inch incision. The patient went home the same day with a band-aid for a dressing. Just a couple days later the patient was back at work pain-free!