What is a baker’s cyst?
A baker’s cyst is a pocket of fluid that forms a lump behind the knee. It is also known as popliteal cyst.
What causes a Baker’s cyst?
Baker’s cysts in children often involve the bursa, the small sac of fluid behind the knee. The bursa may join the sac that cushions the knee bones (synovial sac) to form a cyst.
Arthritis is the most common cause in adults, but a Baker’s cyst also can be caused by a knee injury. Swelling from arthritis or knee injury can cause fluid to build up in your knee. The cyst forms when the fluid is push out at the back of the knee.
What are the symptoms of a Baker’s cyst?
Baker’s cyst causes no symptoms for majority of the people. However, some patient may feel:
- Tightness or stiffness behind the knee.
- Swelling felt behind the knee and it gets worse when you stand.
- Slight pain felt behind the knee and pain can radiate to upper calf area. You will fell this when you bend you knee or straighten your knee all the way.
Sometimes the pocket of fluid behind the knee can tear open and drain into the tissues of the lower leg. This can cause swelling and redness in that part of the leg.
How is a Baker’s cyst diagnosed?
Your doctor will physically examine your knee and order investigations such as MRI to diagnose the inside of your knee.
How is Baker’s cyst treated?
If the Baker’s cyst is cause by arthritis or another problem, then you need to seek medical attention to treat it.
Doctor’s treatment to a Baker’s cyst can be:
- Aspiration of the Baker’s cyst. The doctor may drain the fluid with a needle.
- Surgically remove a Baker’s cyst if the cyst is a found to be a malignant tumour.
- Rest your knee as much as possible.
- Take pain-killers or anti-inflammatories to reduce the pain and swelling.
- Use walking aids to help you get around so you have a chance to rest your knee.
Seek medical attention if in doubt.