ARACHNOID CYST Arachnoid cysts are fluid filled sacs that grow from the arachnoid membrane, a thin layer that covers the brain and spinal cord. Some arachnoid cysts are present from birth while others develop later in life as a result of head injury, tumors, meningitis or brain surgery. Symptoms are related to the size and location of the arachnoid cyst and include: headache, nausea/vomiting, seizures, hearing or visual changes, vertigo and difficulties with balance. For arachnoid cysts around the spinal cord, symptoms are different and include numbness, tingling or pain in the arms, legs or back.
Arachnoid cysts are usually diagnosed with a CT scan or MRI. Treatment depends on the size and location of the arachnoid cyst. More often, neurosurgeons are using minimally invasive techniques to drain the arachnoid cysts without large incisions or risking damage to surrounding brain tissue. The prognosis for arachnoid cysts also depends on the size and location of the cyst. Prompt treatment can avoid some of the potential complications such as bleeding or compression of the brain or spinal cord.