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Thread: spinal arachnoid cyst-Dr. Wise?

  1. #1
    Junior Member Sharon E's Avatar
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    Aug 2003
    Lampasas,TX USA

    spinal arachnoid cyst-Dr. Wise?

    I has asked about my MRI earlier and Dr. Young said it was a possible arachnoid cyst. There is excess spinal fluid from C7-T2. It bulges out and the spinal cord is very thin. The neurologist said it is a possible arachnoid cyst and I'm seeing a neurosurgeon June 30. In the meantime is there any danger? Do these ever rupture? And what happens if they do? My T6 injury is due to a bleed 8ys ago. I was diagnosed with CNS vasculitis.
    Thank you,

  2. #2
    Is the fluid inside your cord? If so, it would not be a subarachnoid cyst. It could be a syrinx (syringomyelia) though. A subarachnoid cyst would be on the surface of the cord, and could cause thinning of the cord if it had been there for some time.

    I will ask Dr. Young to comment on this further.


  3. #3
    Senior Member mjschaef's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Phoenix, AZ USA
    I'm no expert, but I have some experience with arachnoid cysts on the spine. My T6 injury was actually caused by the surgery I had to remove the cyst. From what I know, arachnoid cysts are usually very slow to develop. Mine was likley there since birth (27 years) before it was noticed. Since the fluid is above your injury, if it was a troublesome cyst, you would notice some neurologic deficits (loss of sensation, tingling, loss of muscle control). This would depend on how much pressure the fluid build up is putting on your cord (and the location of the pressure). The cyst is just two layers of cells with spinal fluid caught in between... I don't know if they can rupture, but if it did, I would think that would be ideal - its just spinal fluid.

    If it is an arachnoid cyst, my guess is they will watch it, unless you are experiencing some trouble. But, I would also think it would have been noticed before (so, I bet it is something else). Also, I wouldn't be too worried about the surgery if they do decide to remove it (assuming it is a cyst)... My horrible experience is not the norm. It should be a relatively easy proceedure, as spinal surgery goes.

    One more piece of advice - if it is an arachnoid cyst - ask for a full cord and brain MRI. These cysts are much (MUCH!) more common in the brain, and since they are mostly developmental, if you have one it is a good idea to look for more.

    That's my two cents from someone who has been there. Perhaps Dr. Young can correct any mistakes I have made.

    Matt (T6, 8/27/04)

    "On November 2 the voice of the people was heard. I promise not to imitate it out of respect for the mentally retarded" - Lewis Black (Comedian)

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