Background: Management of popliteal cyst is controversial. Owing to high failure rates in open procedures, recent trend is towards arthroscopic decompression and simultaneous management of intraarticular pathology. We retrospectively analysed clinical results of symptomatic popliteal cysts after arthroscopic management at 24 month followup.
Materials and methods: Retrospective analysis of hospital database for patients presenting with pathology suggestive of a popliteal cyst from June 2007 to December 2012 was done. Twelve cases of popliteal cyst not responding to NSAIDS and with Rauschning and Lindgren Grade 2 or 3 who consented for surgical intervention were included in the study. All patients underwent arthroscopic decompression using a posteromedial portal along with management of intraarticular pathologies as encountered. Furthermore, the unidirectional valvular effect was corrected to a bidirectional one by widening the cyst joint interface. The results were assessed as per the Rauschning and Lindgren criteria.
Results: All patients were followed for a minimum of 24 months (range 24-36 months). It revealed that among the study group, six patients achieved Grade 0 status while five had a minimal limitation of range of motion accompanied by occasional pain (Grade 1). One patient had a failure of treatment with no change in the clinical grading.
Conclusion: Arthroscopic approach gives easy access to decompression with the simultaneous management of articular pathologies.
Keywords: Arthroscopy; arthroscopic decompression cyst; arthroscopic surgical procedures; cysts; popliteal cyst; popliteal space; unidirectional valve.