CLINICAL FEATURES: A 67-year-old female patient with a history of lumbar synovial cysts and synovectomy presented with recurrence of bilateral low back, leg pain, and apparent neurological compromise along with a recurrence of lumbar synovial cyst as evidenced on magnetic resonance images.
INTERVENTIONS AND OUTCOME: Flexion distraction therapy, performance of Williams low back exercises and interferential therapy resulted in 50% relief. Frequency of care was progressively diminished as she improved. The patient experienced recurrence of severe episodes; multifidi strengthening exercises were provided to address a concomitant spondylolisthesis and instability, resulting in a cessation of these episodes and improvement in functional activities.
CONCLUSION: Distraction therapy seemed to alleviate the constant pain without surgical intervention. In this case, the synovial cyst may have been an incidental finding versus a primary cause of the low back and leg pain. For similar patients, in the absence of correlative progressive neurological signs, surgical intervention may not be necessary.
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