What Is Baker’s Cyst
A Baker’s cyst, also known as a popliteal cyst, is a fluid-filled cyst that forms a bulge in the back part of the knee joint or popliteal region. Baker’s cyst develops as the result of some underlying conditions within your knee, like rheumatoid arthritis, and cause pain with some movements of the knee.
Baker’s Cyst Common Signs and Symptoms
Baker’s cyst is not a life-threatening condition and most of the time, it doesn’t even cause any symptoms. However, in some other cases, symptoms are present and might include:
- Swelling in the back part of your knee
- Knee pain, mostly related to flexure movements
- Gradual stiffness of your knee
Baker’s Cyst Common Causes
Normally, a lubricant fluid called synovial covers the joint structures and helps reduce friction between your knee bones. In some particular joint conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and cartilage tears, your body produces too much synovial fluid, resulting in the formation of a cyst in the popliteal area known as Baker’s Cyst.
Baker’s Cyst Diagnosis
Most of the time, Baker’s cyst can be diagnosed just by performing a proper physical exam and having your medical record information. However, since the location and symptoms of Baker’s cyst can be similar to other serious conditions, your doctor will perform some additional test to rule out any of those, which may include:
- Knee ultrasound
- X-ray of the knee
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the knee
Baker’s Cyst Treatment
It is important to note that the principal treatment for a Baker’s cyst is treating the underlying condition that causes the cyst, if possible.
Sometimes, a Baker’s cyst can disappear on its own and will not require any additional treatment. However, in case you show some typical symptoms, your doctor will try some treatments available.
- Needle aspiration. Your doctor will drain the Baker’s cyst content directly from your knee, in order to reduce your symptoms by eliminating the excess fluid.
- Corticosteroid knee injections. Your doctor will inject some corticosteroids directly to your knee, in order to reduce inflammation and improve your symptoms.
- Physical Therapy. Using local techniques like cold packs and compression bandage can reduce the pain. Additionally, physical therapy might help you to reduce your symptoms and to preserve the flexibility and movements of your knee.