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Knee News

Counting on Ganglion Cysts

The authors of this study attempted to find out how many people develop ganglion cysts in their leg. A ganglion cyst forms when fluid builds up inside the lining of a joint. The joint studied by these authors is the upper tibiofibular joint, which sits on the outer edge the knee. It is the upper connecting point of the thin fibula bone that runs down the lower leg next to the larger shin bone, the tibia.

Prevalence is the term for how many people in a given place have this condition if we counted today. These researchers found that the prevalence of tibiofibular joint ganglion cysts in patients sent to an orthopedic doctor for a knee MRI is less than one percent.

How can these details be found? Doctors who take the time to review MRIs gather this information. In fact, this study is the first to report prevalence of tibiofibular ganglion cysts. Only a few other studies have described the cysts.

The authors of this study reviewed 654 knee-MRI scans over a six-month period of time. A total of five scans had a tibiofibular ganglion cyst. Before the MRI was done, doctors thought these patients had a tear of the meniscus (cartilage) in the knee.

Studying MRIs helps doctors find MRI patterns that match patient problems. For example, in this review, the authors found out what ganglion cysts look like using different signal intensities. By reporting this information, other doctors will be able to more easily recognize a tibiofibular ganglion cyst on MRI.


Omer A. Ilahi, MD, et al. Prevalence of Ganglion Cysts Originating From the Proximal Tibiofibular Joint: A Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study. In Arthroscopy. February 2003. Vol. 19. No. 2. Pp. 150-153.


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*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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