Re: synovial cyst L4-L5
How were your cysts diagnosed? Do you have any other lumbar issues? I gather you are not seeing a spine specialist.
There are a variety of ways to find a specialist. One way is a referral from your family doctor, but you will not necessarily end up with the most talented specialist that way, as they tend to refer doctors in their practice or ones they know personally. Word of mouth can get you some names to investigate...physical therapists who do orthopedic cases are a good source.
I've had very good luck using the internet. You first want to find a fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon or neurosurgeon who limits the practice to the neck and back. (in other words, no neuros who prefer doing brain surgery and no general orthos, sports orthos, etc. no orthos who replace joints or set bones...you want an ortho spine doc.) Almost all doctors have some sort of website now. Take a look. See what they emphasize in regards to what they treat. Look at where they went to school, did their "training" (residency) and see whatever fellowships for the spine they took.
There are a couple other websites that rate doctors: they will give you lots of basic factual information like what insurance they accept, and they should indicate if there are any lawsuits or censures from the state medical board, etc. Sometimes there will be patient comments, which are "interesting" reading, but are very subjective. However, if a doctor has nothing but bad comments, you might want to look elsewhere.
You want to find someone, ideally, who has been in practice around ten years or more. Some people prefer someone in a spine center that also has other specialists so there is more of a "complete treatment" setting -- with a pain management specialist, perhaps a physiatrist in addition to the ortho or neuro surgeon....Some people prefer an individual practioner who has a more personal approach.
After selecting who seems "best" to you, then you make an appointment and see how you personally mesh with the doctor.
I'm sure others will have suggestions for you.
Synovial cysts are often left alone. Sometimes they are drained; occasionally they are surgically removed. They can be tricky to treat.
Good luck, and welcome to the back board.
Last edited by teteri66; 02-17-2012 at 11:40 AM.