Spinal Cysts

Spinal cysts are fluid-filled sacs on or near the spine. They are most common in the  sacral (tailbone) area. They are also called perineural cysts or sacral nerve root cysts. Many don’t cause symptoms. A spinal cyst can cause symptoms, however, if it’s large or presses on nerves.


  • Chronic pain
  • Dizziness
  • Lower back pain
  • Trouble sitting or standing
  • Leg weakness
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control

Nonsurgical treatment

If your spinal cyst isn’t causing symptoms, your doctor may recommend monitoring as the best option. Your doctor may recommend X-rays or MRI scans to see if the cyst is growing.  

Surgical treatment

The OHSU Spine Center favors the least-invasive options whenever possible. Spinal cysts tend to get larger over time, however. If a cyst causes symptoms, your doctor might recommend surgery to remove it.