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Comparison of arthroscopic internal drainage and open excision for the treatment of popliteal cysts

BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2022 Jul 30;23(1):732. doi: 10.1186/s12891-022-05658-2.


BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to introduce the arthroscopic internal drainage with anterior-anteromedial approach for the treatment of popliteal cysts in children. To compare its clinical efficacy with open surgery.

METHODS: This was a retrospective case-control study of 102 patients diagnosed with popliteal cysts from January 2018 to February 2020 who received surgery. The study included 27 cases with minimally invasive group (MI group) and 75 cases with open surgery group (OS group). The MI group included 21 males and 6 females, age 6.71 ± 2.16 years who received arthroscopic internal drainage of the cysts to adequately widen the valve opening between the cyst and the articular cavity, excised the fibrous diaphragm without complete excision of the cyst wall. The OS group included 57 males and 18 females, age 6.21 ± 1.67 years who received open excision. The clinical parameters regarding the preoperative characteristics and surgical results were compared. Ultrasound or MRI was used to identify the recurrence of the popliteal cysts. Rauschning-Lindgren grade was recorded to evaluate the clinical outcome.

RESULTS: All patients were followed up for at least 24 months. There were no significant differences between the two groups in age, gender, left and right sides, disease time, cyst size, length of hospitalization, preoperative Rauschning-Lindgren grade (p > 0.05). At the last follow-up, the preoperative and postoperative Rauschning-Lindgren grade was improved in both groups. Compared with the OS group, operation time was significantly shortened in the MI group (28.89 ± 4.51 min vs 52.96 ± 29.72 min, p < 0.05). The MI group was superior to the OS group in terms of blood loss and plaster fixation, with statistical significance (p < 0.05). There was obvious difference in recurrence rate between the two groups (0% vs 17.33%, p = 0.018). No postoperative complications occurred during the follow-up period.

CONCLUSIONS: Compared with open excision, the treatment of popliteal cyst in children by arthroscopic internal drainage to expand the articular cavity and eliminate the “one-way valve” mechanism between the cyst and the articular cavity exhibits better clinical outcomes and significantly reduces the recurrence rate, which is worthy of further clinical promotion.

PMID:35907946 | DOI:10.1186/s12891-022-05658-2

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