The purpose of this study was to report the outcomes of all-intra-articular arthroscopic decompression and labral repair in patients with symptomatic paralabral cysts.

From 2005 to 2011, 20 consecutive cases of symptomatic paralabral cysts were included in this study. All surgical procedures were conducted with intra-articular arthroscopic decompression by use of a probe through the site of labral tear for cyst evacuation and suture anchor repair for the associated posterosuperior labrum. Clinical scores and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were obtained preoperatively and at follow-up. MRI was used to evaluate the size and segmentation of the cyst and the presence of the labral tear.

MRI revealed paralabral cysts in association with labral tears in all cases. Cysts were extended in the spinoglenoid notch with a mean size of 2.5 × 2.6 × 2.2 cm on MRI. Cysts were nonsegmented in 5 cases (25%) and had multiple segments in 15 cases (75%). Mean follow-up was 42.8 ± 21.22 months. The mean visual analog scale score for pain, the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score, and the Simple Shoulder Test score significantly improved at the last follow-up (P <  .001, P <  .001, and P = .001, respectively). The postoperative MRI study performed at a mean of 6 months for 18 of 20 cases (90%) revealed complete cyst removal. The satisfaction level with surgery was good to excellent in 18 patients, fair in 1 patient, and poor in 1 patient. No complication was related to the surgical procedure.

Arthroscopic all-intra-articular decompression and labral repair of paralabral cyst can be a simple and effective treatment, regardless of segmentation or size. It also resulted in complete removal of the cyst at a mean of 6 months postoperatively as revealed by MRI. An additional subacromial procedure might not be necessary for complete decompression.