Popliteal cyst is a benign swelling with synovial fluid located behind the knee joint. They are often asymptomatic, however symptomatic cysts may cause pain and may need surgery interventions.
This study compares the clinical efficacy of different surgical approaches, including traditional open excision and advanced arthroscopic treatment.
It is becoming common sense that understanding pathological progression underlying popliteal cysts is beneficial for the current treatment but in the last years, minimally invasive arthroscopy has provided surgeons an alternative approach with prominent advantages. Arthroscopic treatment alone may not be enough to address both the underlying pathology in the knee joint and the cyst.
The combination of arthroscopic treatment and open excision was rarely reported during the study and it is difficult to suggest the best treatment for popliteal cysts because the direct comparison between different surgical approaches with long-term follow-ups were lacking. Three different surgical treatments of popliteal cyst were approached: arthroscopic internal drainage, open excision after arthroscopic treatment, and open excision.You will be able to check out the results here.
Traditional treatment for popliteal cysts is using open excision from a posterior incision and it usually involves extensive exposures and risk of neural or vascular injuries. Patients are more likely to scar formation after surgery, resulting in unsatisfying cosmetic appearance.
The results suggest that it is critical to clear intra-articular pathology for successful treatment of popliteal cyst, whereas the removal of the cyst is not the primary goal for surgical intervention.
Arthroscopic internal drainage of the cyst not only treats the intra-articular lesions but it re-establishes the bi-directional communication between the bursa and the joint space – this minimally invasive procedure has small incision, quick recovery, good efficacy and low recurrence rate.