Baker’s Cyst - Plano
Baker’s Cyst, also known as Popliteal Cyst, is a liquid-filled pouch behind the knee joint. This joint consists of a number of fluid filled sacs called Bursae that help to reduce friction between the tendons and cartilage. One such sac is the Popliteal Bursa. When this bursa is filled with excessive synovial fluid, it protrudes behind the knee. This condition is termed as Baker’s Cyst. It causes discomfort in the knee and restricts day to day activities.

Causes

Arthritis: Baker’s cyst may be caused if the patient suffers from conditions like Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Septic Arthritis and Gout. It may cause inflammation in the knee joint resulting in excessive production of the synovial liquid.
Trauma: A sports injury such as Cartilage tear may also cause Baker’s Cyst.

Symptoms

Stiffness or tightness in the knee joint
Soft, balloon-like pouch may be observed behind the knee
Swelling around the knee and the upper calf which may worsen while standing
Flexion and extension of the knee may be painful if the cyst is large. A smaller cyst may not cause any discomfort
The cyst may burst causing pain, swelling and redness in the leg

Diagnosis

Physical Examination: The doctor may physically examine the sac. Swelling around the knee and a bulging pouch behind the joint may indicate Baker’s Cyst. The doctor may ask the patient about the symptoms and the history of pain. Physical movement of the knee may be observed to check the range of motion.
Additional Tests: The patient may be recommended to go for certain diagnostic tests to identify any underlying causes such as Arthritis, Tumor or Cartilage tear. The tests that may be prescribed are:
CT Scan
Ultrasound
MRI Scan

Treatment

Non- Surgical Treatment


Rest: The patient may be advised to provide ample rest to the knee to allow the swelling to decrease.
Ice-Pack: Ice wrapped in a thick cloth or towel may be applied on the cyst to reduce pain and inflammation. Direct contact between the skin and ice should be avoided.
Compression: The doctor may advise wearing a crepe bandage around the knee to provide support and relieve pain.
Crutches: It may be advised to keep weight off the knee until the symptoms are relieved. Walking with crutches can be useful.
Medication: NSAIDs, corticosteroids and certain steroidal injections may be prescribed by the doctor to relieve pain as well as inflammation.
Aspiration: It involves removal of excess fluid from the cyst with the help of a needle.
If the cyst has occurred due to knee problems like Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis or Cartilage tear, the doctor may treat these causes to provide relief from Baker’s Cyst.  

Surgical Treatment

The swollen tissue or cyst may be removed through Arthroscopic surgery. The doctor may recommend physical therapy to regain flexibility.

For effective treatment of Baker’s Cyst, schedule an appointment with an orthopedic doctor.