Midline Ligamentum Flavum Cyst of Lumbar Spine

World Neurosurg. 2018 Feb;110:284-287. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2017.11.075. Epub 2017 Nov 23.


Background: Ligamentum flavum cysts are thought to develop due to facet joint hypermobility; however, the etiology of these lesions is not completely elucidated. These cysts may lead to compressive pathologies of the spine requiring surgical intervention.

Case report: We report the case of a 63-year-old male with chronic back pain and progressive neurogenic claudication for 6 months. He was found to have a ligamentum flavum cyst situated along the dorsal midline of the lumbar spinal canal contributing to spinal stenosis. The patient underwent a decompressive L4 laminectomy and en bloc excision of the ligamentum flavum cyst with complete resolution of his symptoms postoperatively.

Conclusions: We suggest that chronic mechanical stress leads to degeneration of the ligamentum flavum and contributes directly to cyst formation.

Keywords: Juxtafacet cyst; Ligamentum flavum cyst; Synovial cyst.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cysts / diagnostic imaging
  • Cysts / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Ligamentum Flavum / diagnostic imaging
  • Ligamentum Flavum / surgery*
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / surgery
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male