Arachnoid cysts in the spinal cord may be asymptomatic. In some cases arachnoid cysts may exert mass effect on the thoracic spinal cord and lead to pain and myelopathy symptoms. Arachnoid cysts may be difficult to visualize on an MRI scan because the thin walled arachnoid may not be visible. Focal displacement of the thoracic spinal cord and effacement of the spinal cord with apparent widening of the cerebrospinal fluid space is seen. This video demonstrates surgical techniques to remove a dorsal arachnoid cyst causing spinal cord compression. The surgery involves a thoracic laminectomy. The dura is opened sharply with care taken not to open the arachnoid so that the cyst can be well visualized. The thickened arachnoid walls of the cyst are removed to alleviate the compression caused by the arachnoid cyst. The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/pgUrl9xvsD0.
Keywords: arachnoid cyst; myelopathy; thoracic spine; video.