Tarlov cysts are sacs that get filled with cerebrospinal fluid that affects the nerve roots in the sacrum. Sacrum is the group of bones placed the base of the spine. These cysts can compress the nerve roots leading to lower back pain, sciatica, urinary incontinence, headaches, constipation, sexual dysfunction, and a little of loss of feeling or control of movement in the leg and/or foot. The pressure caused on the nerves placed next to cysts can also lead to pain and deterioration of the surrounding bone. Tarlov cysts can be diagnosed with the use of magnetic resonance imaging. But, it is believed that the majority of cysts examined under the MRI cause no symptoms. Tarlov cysts ,ay show symptoms after a shock, trauma, or exertion that leads to buildup of cerebrospinal fluid. Women are at a higher risk of developing the cysts than men.
The condition can be treated by draining and shunting of the cysts to relieve the pressure and pain. But, the fluid can build up again and the cysts recur. Corticosteroid injections can also be used to relieve the pain. Other medicines prescribed for chronic pain and depression can also help.
Tarlov cysts can at times lead to nerve and other pain or nerve root compression. Acute and chronic pain may also need some changes in the lifestyle. If not treated on time, nerve root compression can cause permanent neurological damage.
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