Baker's cyst - Health Center

Baker's cyst

By Refadoc, Posted on : Tuesday, 15 September 2015 - 10:46 am IST

Baker's Cyst - Basic Overview

Baker's Cyst is the formation of a fluid filled cyst which causes a bulge and a feeling of tightness around the affected person's knee. The pain associated with Baker's Cyst tends to get worse when the person tries to flex or extend his knee or when he is actively working.

Causes of Baker's Knee:

The Synovial Fluid is the liquid which is found around the knees. This fluid helps the legs to move freely and smoothly. It also helps to reduce the amount of friction between the moving parts of the knees.

However, under some conditions, the knee produces excessive amount of Synovial Fluid.

The build up of the fluid around the back of the knee, the Popliteal Bursa can result in Baker's Knee. The excessive build up is caused due to the following reasons:

  • Inflammation of the knee joint due to different kinds of arthritis.
  • A Knee injury caused due to the tearing of the cartilage

Diagnosis and Treatment of Baker's Cyst

A Baker's Cyst can be easily diagnosed with the help of a physical exam. Apart from that, the doctors may order imaging tests such as Ultrasound or MRI in order to get a clearer picture of your condition.

In many cases, no treatment is required for the condition as it tends to heal on its own. However, if the cyst is very large and causes a lot of pain, the following treatment options are prescribed:

Medications: They may include corticosteroid medications such as injecting cortisone into the knee in order to get rid of the inflammation. This can get rid of the pain but does not prevent the reoccurrence of the condition.

Fluid Drainage is another procedure in which the doctors drain the fluid with the help of a needle. This technique is known as needle aspiration and is performed with the help of an ultrasound.

Physical Therapy such as icing, a compression wrap or crutches too are known to help relieve the pain and the swelling. Strengthening exercises around the muscles and the knees help to reduce the symptoms and increase the knee functioning.

The doctors examine the tear in the cartilage which is causing an excessive production of Synovial Fluid. In some of the rarer cases, the doctor may recommend a surgery in order to remove or repair the damaged cartilage.

People suffering from Osteoarthritis and with Baker's Cyst often go in for the surgical treatment for the condition.

Signs and Symptoms of Baker's Cyst

In many cases, a Baker's Cyst does not cause any pain. In most cases, the patients are not even aware of their condition. In case of certain signs and symptoms, the following are the ones which are the most common:

  • Swelling and inflammation behind the knee in the leg.
  • Pain in the knees.
  • Stiffness of the joints.

If you have been experiencing the pain and swelling behind the knee, it is best to get the knee examined in order to determine the cause of the same. A bulge found behind the knee could be a sign of a more serious condition than a fluid filled cyst.


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