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BACKGROUND: Complex symptomatic ganglion cysts arising from the proximal tibio-fibular joint (PTJ) are not an uncommon presentation in specialist knee clinics and can be managed by aspiration or excision. There is, however, a high rate of recurrence and often there is progressive involvement of the common peroneal nerve (CPN) and its branches, and permanent nerve damage may result. METHODS: This study is a review of the outcome of recalcitrant and recurrent cyst disease with CPN involvement treated by proximal fibulectomy. Nine patients with clinical and radiological diagnosis of a ganglion cyst involving the proximal tibio-fibular joint were treated by proximal fibulectomy. Average age was 47.2years (19 to 75). Patients were followed up clinically and radiologically. Medical notes were reviewed to assess clinical/pathological characteristics, surgical outcome, recurrence rate and the symptoms of instability and nerve function. RESULTS: None of the patients were lost to follow-up. After an average follow-up of 83months (15 to 150), none of the patients had clinical or radiological evidence of recurrence. All patients were pain-free and had a complete resolution of nerve symptoms and no evidence of CPN injury. None of the patients complained of localised pain or knee instability and there were no wound healing problems. CONCLUSIONS: MRI now confirms TFJ-ganglion cysts to be more common than previously recognised. Where there is refractory disease with progressive nerve symptoms and evidence of nerve sheath involvement, joint excision by proximal fibulectomy gives a satisfactory functional result in controlling disease and preventing further nerve damage. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: IV.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





932 - 935


Ganglion cyst, Knee, Proximal fibulectomy, Proximal tibio-fibular joint, Recurrence, Adult, Aged, Female, Fibula, Ganglion Cysts, Humans, Knee Joint, Male, Middle Aged, Nerve Compression Syndromes, Osteotomy, Peroneal Neuropathies, Recurrence, Retrospective Studies, Treatment Outcome, Young Adult