The knee consists of a fluid called synovial fluid, which reduces friction between the bones of the knee joint when the leg is moving. Sometimes this fluid is produced in excess, resulting in its accumulation in the back of your knee. A Baker's cyst is a fluid-filled swelling that develops into a lump behind the knee. This causes stiffness, tightness, and pain behind your knee. Although it can develop at any age, it is commonly seen in people over age 40.
- underlying conditions
- rheumatoid arthritis
- an injury to the knee
- or inflammation of the knee joint
When you present with the above symptoms, your doctor will review your medical history and perform a thorough physical examination of your knee. Further tests such as ultrasound scan and MRI may be recommended in order confirm the diagnosis of Baker's cyst.
The physician will determine the best treatment to alleviate the symptoms of Baker's Cyst.
Baker's cyst may not require treatment and may disappear on its own.
If the cyst is large and causes a lot of pain, the following treatments may be performed:
- Medications: injections of corticosteroid medications into the knee to reduce pain. However, this may not prevent the reoccurrence of the cyst.
- Fluid drainage: Fluid from the knee is drained using a needle that is guided by ultrasound. Steroid injections sometimes follow fluid drainage to reduce inflammation and pain.
- Physical therapy: the application of ice and a compression wrap or crutches to help reduce the pain and swelling. The physician may also include strengthening and range-of-motion exercises for the muscles around the knee.
- Surgery: may treat the underlying cause rather than the condition itself. If a cartilage tear is causing the over production of synovial fluid, surgery may be determined to repair the cartilage.