What is Baker's Cyst (popliteal cyst)and how do we Treat it?

What's a Baker's Cyst?

Also known as popliteal cyst, is a fluid sac that is a result of fluid accumulation in the synovial cavity at the back of the knee. Some people don't feel anything, but some people get pain and tight feeling behind the knee. The symptoms seems to be related to the size of the cyst. The big ones are visible like the picture above.

What causes it?

Usually a result of a problem in the knee joint that causes excess fluid accumulation for a long time, such as arthritis or meniscus injury. The synovial cavity holds fluids that lubricate the knee joint, but if excess swelling occurs in the joint, it will push the sac backward as the knee flexes and extends. however the cyst size will diminish as the underlying problem is relieved.

How do we manage it?

  1. RICE : Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate. Wrap the knee with a compressor with mild to moderate pressure with ice pack, and elevate the knee. Make sure you do not go over 15 minutes at a time with ice pack.

  2. NSAIDs is recommended for temporary relief of pain if the pain is unbearable.

  3. Exercise given by physiotherapists or chiropractors to focus on strengthening the quadriceps muscle and stretching the hamstring will help with increasing range of motion in the knee joint. It is expected that the pain will decreased in 6~8 weeks of treatments.

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