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Generally speaking, we would advise those with atlanto-occipital instability to avoid high impact sports etc, but in day to day life it should not really cause a problem or put him at any danger. Surgery to fix these problems is major surgery, and will also cause the patient to have a stiff, inflexible neck that will have more day to day problems than the instability will ever cause. Even with a potentially unstable neck, it would require significant trauma to cause a problem. Rest assured, that as long he is not a rugby player, it should never cause him trouble!

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Dr. Chris Briggs


Burleigh Waters

The question does not relate to stability of spine-rather neurological symptoms and signs. In most cases these cysts(usually degenerative= synovial) are incidental findings. Some do cause symptoms and warrant treatment ,usually those in the lumbar region.Surgery is usually straight forward providing it is warranted: appropriate symptoms, compatible exam neurological findings and appropriate and significant neural compression on MRI.Remember if your surgeon does not examine you, does not discuss risks in detail-consider a second opinion or change surgeons.It is your health and welfare at stake.MC

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Dr. Michael Coroneos



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