International Orthopaedics

, Volume 42, Issue 6, pp 1233–1239 | Cite as

Ganglion cysts of the proximal tibiofibular articulation: the role of arthrodesis and combined partial fibula excision

  • Gabriel Lateur
  • Regis Pailhé
  • Ramsay Refaie
  • Brice Rubens-Duval
  • Vincent Morin
  • Mehdi Boudissa
  • Dominique Saragaglia
Original Paper



Cysts of the proximal tibiofibular articulation are rare and their optimal treatment remains unclear. The objective of this study was to evaluate the results and complications of the treatment of synovial ganglion cysts of the proximal tibiofibular articulation by simple excision or by excision and fusion of the proximal tibiofibular joint with a limited fibula excision.


Between January 2005 and December 2016, seven male patients with an average age of 46 years were treated for a ganglion cyst of the proximal tibiofibular articulation. Nine procedures were performed in total. Four patients underwent primary cyst excision, two underwent revision cyst excision and three underwent revision cyst excision with arthrodesis of the proximal tibiofibular joint and partial excision of the fibula (two patients underwent two procedures).


Average follow-up was 79 months. The recurrence rate was 25% for simple cyst excision, 100% for revision cyst excision and 0% for cyst excision with arthrodesis. Average kitaoka score was 98 for simple cyst excision and 100 for cyst excision with arthrodesis (P = 0.34); resting visual analogue scores (VAS) were zero in both groups. With activity VAS was 0 for simple cyst excision and 1.6 in the arthrodesis group (P = 0.33). Two of the three arthrodesis patients went on to successful fusion. The third patient has an asymptomatic pseudarthrosis.


Simple primary cyst excision has a high failure rate at 25%. Revision cyst excision without fusion failed in all cases. We therefore recommend arthrodesis with limited fibula excision.


Proximal tibiofibular joint Ganglion cyst Cystectomy Proximal tibiofibular arthrodesis 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Each author declares that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

264_2017_3542_MOESM1_ESM.docx (4 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 4 kb)


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Copyright information

© SICOT aisbl 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sport TraumatologyGrenoble South Teaching HospitalÉchirollesFrance
  2. 2.Department of Trauma and OrthopaedicsWansbeck HospitalNorthumberlandUK

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