A synovial cyst typically occurs from a degenerative facet. The synovium is the lining of the joint that produces synovial fluid, the fluid that bathes the joint. When the joint becomes degenerative, the capsule (the tough outer bag that holds the joint together) can tear and the lining of the joint, the synovium, can pouch out.
This synovium does what it is suppose to do, produce fluid. Since there is no structure(the capsule) to control the amount of fluid produced, this pouch goes about its business producing fluid. This creates a cyst and this cyst can compress the nerve.
With a slip present, a foraminotomy is typically ineffective to decompress the nerve. A fusion is normally required to decompress the nerve and stabilize the level.
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.