Arachnoid Cysts

Arachnoid cysts are fluid-filled sacs that form near the arachnoid membrane, a tissue that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. The cysts can be present at birth, or form later in life. While arachnoid cysts in the spine are a rare form of the condition, diagnosis and treatment are vital in preventing serious, long-lasting effects.

The physicians and providers at the Clinical Neuroscience Institute are specially trained in the treatment of arachnoid cysts. Our highly-qualified team is focused on the thorough, effective care of this condition, and to alleviating the symptoms so you may live a comfortable, active, and healthy life.

What are Arachnoid Cysts?

Arachnoid cysts are sacs filled with cerebrospinal fluid, and attached to the arachnoid membrane covering the spine and brain. Some patients are born with this condition (primary arachnoid cysts), while other patients develop it (secondary arachnoid cysts) as a result of a head injury, illness, or surgical complication. Primary arachnoid cysts are the most common form.

Arachnoid cysts around the spinal cord have different symptoms than arachnoid cysts in the brain. Symptoms of spinal arachnoid cysts may include pain in the legs and back, and tingling or numbness in the arms or legs. Muscle spasms or curvature of the spine may also occur.

Diagnosing Arachnoid Cysts

Following a review of your symptoms and medical history, your physician may order certain tests to arrive at a diagnosis. The cysts can often be detected through diagnostic imaging screens such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), or myelography.

Treatment for Arachnoid Cysts

Some arachnoid cysts present no symptoms and often require no treatment. For those that do produce symptoms, surgical removal of the cyst may be needed. Another option is to remove the fluid from the cyst, temporarily relieving symptoms. There are some minimally-invasive procedures available for this type of treatment.