Baker’s Cyst: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

by Administrator 25. April 2017 08:50

Baker’s cyst or popliteal cyst is a condition characterized by inflammation caused due to accumulation of fluid behind the knee. When excessive knee joint fluid is squeezed between the bones of the knee, it can get locked in and separate from the joint to a form a sac. Sometimes the fluid pocket behind the knee can burst and leak into the tissues of the lower leg. This can cause inflammation and redness in that part of the leg.
In certain cases, Baker’s cyst might not cause any symptoms apart from swelling at the back of the knee. This condition is mostly seen in women as compared to men as they have a higher probability of developing arthritis that is associated with
Baker’s Cyst. 

Causes

  • Knee damage caused due to a sports-related injury
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Gout
  • Juvenile arthritis of knee in children
  • Torn meniscus
  • Any other knee problem or knee joint injury

Symptoms

  • Stiffness and tightness behind the knee
  • Difficulty in extending or flexing the knee
  • A noticeable bulge behind the knee
  • Inflammation behind the knee that can get worse while standing
  • Pain behind the knee and upper calf

Diagnosis

  • The knee surgeon will note down the medical history of the patient and ask questions regarding the visible symptoms
  • The back of the knee of the patient is thoroughly examined to check for redness and inflammation
  • The doctor will also ask the patient if he has any related health problems such as arthritis
  • Imaging tests such as an ultrasound scan or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) might be recommended by the specialist doctor to rule out other conditions such as a tumor or deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

Treatment

If Baker’s cyst is not causing any problematic symptoms, it will usually go away on its own and does not require treatment. However, if any underlying condition is causing Baker’s cyst, the specialist doctor will treat the same.

Non-surgical treatment

  • Over-the-counter pain medication can be prescribed to reduce swelling and discomfort
  • Application of ice packs can also prove to be useful in providing relief from pain
  • Aspiration or removal of excess knee fluid with a needle along with cortisone injections can treat the condition
  • Usage of a cane or crutch can also be suggested by the doctor till the patient recovers completely
  • Sometimes, an elastic bandage might also be helpful in relieving pain
  • The patient is advised to maintain a healthy weight so as to not put excessive pressure on the knee

Surgical treatment

  • Surgical intervention is necessary if there is a cartilage tear or any other internal knee problem
  • During the arthroscopic surgery, the knee surgeon removes the swollen tissue that is causing the formation of cyst
  • Physical therapy is recommended post-surgery for proper rehabilitation

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