What is a Baker's cyst?
What causes a Baker's cyst?
A Baker's cyst is caused when excess joint fluid is pushed into one of the small sacs of tissue behind the knee. When this sac fills with fluid and bulges out, it is called a cyst. The excess fluid is usually caused by conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis that irritate the knee. It may also be caused by an injury.
What are the symptoms?
Often a Baker's cyst causes no pain. When symptoms occur, they may include:
Sometimes the pocket of fluid behind the knee can tear open and drain into the tissues of the lower leg. This can cause swelling and redness in that part of the leg.
How is a Baker's cyst diagnosed?
Your doctor will examine your knee and ask you questions about your past health and when the pain and swelling started. Your doctor may order tests, such as an MRI, to see a picture of the inside of your knee.
How is it treated?
A Baker's cyst may go away on its own.
If arthritis or another problem is causing the Baker's cyst, your doctor may treat that problem. This usually makes the pain and swelling of a Baker's cyst go away.
If a cyst does not go away, or if it is causing a lot of pain, your doctor may drain the fluid with a needle. You also may be given a shot of steroid medicine to reduce swelling. You may need to use a cane or crutch and wrap your knee in an elastic bandage. In rare cases, a Baker's cyst is removed by surgery.
There are things you can do at home to help you feel better.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.