Cysts in the back of the neck are typical “ganglion” or “synovial” cysts (the same thing). These are generated by degenerative facets, the joints in the back of the spine. If the cyst is not compressing the spinal cord or roots, it can be safely left alone and watched. However, this cyst must be causing you some symptoms or you would not have an MRI to determine what your symptoms derive from.
Some cysts will enlarge over time and need to be watched. If there is compression of neurological structures, a posterior decompression is the most common surgical procedure performed (unless there is a vertebra that is slipped).
PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS FORUM IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPINE ANATOMY, CONDITIONS AND TREATMENTS. TO GET AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS, YOU MUST VISIT A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN PERSON.
Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.