Role of Subchondral Cyst in Degenerative Arthritis

Subchondral CystOsteoarthritis is a degenerative form of joint disease that is mostly seen in older patients or patients with sport or other injuries. Degenerative arthritis does not have a symmetrical character, meaning that very rarely both joints are affected on the legs or arms.

Over time joint cartilage becomes thinner, loses its density and flexibility resulting in joint inflammation, pain and stiffness. Once the process of cartilage break down is initiated, it causes increased blood flow to the affected joint as body is trying to mend itself.Subchondral cyst is formed as a result of that. That is one of the most definite symptoms at the beginning stages of osteoarthritis and could be normally seen on x-rays.

Subchondral cyst is a pocket filled with synovial fluid protruding from the joint causing discomfort and limiting joint flexibility.

Currently there’s no aggressive treatment prescribed for subchondral degenerative cyst condition and they are not routinely drained. Normally a patient with subchondral cyst is first prescribed a conservative treatment with non-steroid anti-inflammatory medications. If this proves to be ineffective and your subchondral cyst is especially large and prevents proper joint flexibility, it could be surgically removed as the last resort.

Synovial osteochondromatosis is one of the osteoarthritis symptoms that forms foreign calcified tissues on the surface of the joint lining. Normally, only one elbow, knee or hip is affected by this condition and requires surgery to remove these formations.

Subchondral cysts play a very significant role in degenerative arthritis contributing to bone and joint deformities and should be carefully evaluated for proper prognosis and treatment.