Intraosseous ganglion cyst within the L4 lamina causing spinal stenosis

James D. Lin, Steven M. Koehler, Roberto A. Garcia, Sheeraz A. Qureshi, Andrew C. Hecht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background context: There are rare reports of intraosseous ganglion cysts in the cervical spine. However, to our knowledge, there are no previous reports of these cysts occurring in the lumbar spine. Purpose: To report a case of symptomatic lumbar spinal stenosis caused by an intraosseous ganglion cyst of the L4 lamina that communicated with the spinal canal. Study design: Case report. Methods: An 86-year-old woman was referred to our spine service for a 2-year history of anterior thigh and leg pain. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a benign-appearing intraosseous cyst in the left L4 lamina communicating with a posterior epidural cyst at L4-L5 causing marked spinal stenosis. The patient was treated successfully with a laminectomy and resection. Results: The patient underwent partial laminectomies of L4 and L5 preserving the interspinous ligaments between L5-S1 and L3-L4. The cyst was removed en bloc without violation of the cyst wall. Histopathologic examination revealed focal myxoid changes without a cellular lining of the cyst wall, confirming the diagnosis of intraosseous ganglion cyst. Conclusions: This is the first report to describe an intraosseous ganglion cyst occurring in the lumbar spine. Although spinal stenosis is commonly a result of degenerative joint or disc disease, it occasionally may result from more obscure causes. This case illustrates a patient with an intraosseous ganglion cyst within the spinal lamina resulting in spinal stenosis, treated successfully with a laminectomy and resection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e9
JournalSpine Journal
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Ganglion cyst
  • Intraosseous
  • Lumbar spine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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