Baker’s Cyst

Arizona Orthopedic Surgery Solutions for Baker’s Cyst

Table of Contents - Baker’s Cyst
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    What is Baker’s Cyst

    A Baker’s cyst, referred to as a popliteal cyst, is when the bursa, a pack of synovial fluid, becomes swollen and a sensation of stiffness in the back of the knee occurs. The knee produces synovial fluid to assist motion and decrease the amount of friction towards the knee’s moving components. Most often caused by arthritis and an abrasion or tear to the cartilage, it is normal for the discomfort or pain to increase when the knee’s full range of motion is exerted, such as walking, running, or riding a bicycle. This issue ends up making the knee create an excess amount of synovial fluid, leading to the onset of a Baker’s cyst. Not often, but possible, the Baker’s cyst will break open, causing synovial fluid to flow towards the calf. This will create swelling in the calf and knifelike sensation in the knee. The most common culprit of a meniscus tear is hearing a “pop.” Surprisingly, the human body is still able to walk with a torn meniscus and it isn’t until about two to three days after the tear when the knee will grow stiff and swollen. Should you experience yourself reaching for a “locked up” knee, a knee “giving out” on you, or simply cannot extend your knee fully, you may have a meniscus tear. If left untreated, a torn part of the meniscus has the ability to float into the joint. The knee may steadily increase in the occurrences of locking up, popping, and slipping around.

    Baker’s Cyst Diagnosis

    A Baker’s cyst is normally diagnosed with a physical exam following a conversation about your personal and your family’s medical history. Doctors may use an X-ray, MRI, or ultrasound to confirm there isn’t any other medical conditions affecting the knee such as a blood clot, aneurysm, or tumor.

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    Baker’s Cyst Treatment

    A smaller cyst may withdraw without medication. A larger cyst inflicting pain may require a steroid injection of Cortisone to decrease swelling. Steroid injections do not keep the cyst from returning, however. A needle aspiration, or fluid draining, with assistance of an ultrasound may be needed. Resting, elevating, and compressing the knee is recommended as well as applying ice for twenty minutes at a time. Stretches and exercises can help increase flexibility while also strengthen the knee.