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Arachnoid Cyst

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What is an Arachnoid Cyst?

An arachnoid cyst is a small fluid-filled sac that develops in the membrane that surrounds the brain and spine. In most instances, these cysts are present at birth but in rare instances can occur due to trauma to the brain or spine.

There is no defined cause of arachnoid cysts but some research has shown that a family history of these cysts increases the likelihood of these cysts in children. Many arachnoid cysts will never cause symptoms and therefore require no treatment. However, if the cyst grows it can cause pressure on the brain or spinal cord and cause neurological symptoms.

If you have an arachnoid cyst the symptoms can include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Changes in behavior
  • Delayed mental development
  • Hydrocephalus (fluid around the brain)
  • Vertigo
  • Vision or hearing problems
  • Visible protrusions on the head or spine

How is an Arachnoid Cyst Treated at The Spine Institute of Louisiana?

As mentioned above, many arachnoid cysts do not cause any symptoms and are only monitored overtime to make sure they are not growing larger.

If the cyst does cause symptoms, your Spine Institute of Louisiana Spine Surgeon will discuss with you surgical options to remove the cyst or decrease the size of the cyst.

Two of the most common surgical options include:

  • Craniotomy. A small opening is made in the skull to allow for drainage of the cyst and increased flow of cerebrospinal fluid.
  • Shunt. A tube is placed into the cyst and remains there to allow the drainage of the cyst.

Make an Appointment with a Spine Institute of Louisiana Spine Specialist Today

  • If you have been experiencing symptoms of an Arachnoid Cyst, schedule an appointment with one of our Board Certified Spine Surgeons.
  • We will evaluate your unique lifestyle and goals to determine which type of surgery is best for you.
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