Baker Cyst

The first thing that should come to mind in swelling behind the knee is a joint cyst. The special name of the joint cyst behind the knee is Baker's cyst. Baker's cyst is a bursa disease that contains an increased amount of joint fluid.

Baker's Cyst Treatment

Baker's Cyst Treatment

Baker's cyst is also known as popliteal cyst. It usually occurs due to damage to the knee joint and progression of joint fluid into the posterior space. It manifests itself as a swelling of different sizes behind the knee.

This cyst, which can range from mild discomfort to severe pain, causes complaints of tension and restriction of movement.

If the cyst behind the knee bursts, the gelatinous fluid that spreads between the muscles causes severe pain.

What is Baker's cyst?

Baker's cyst is the special name for a joint cyst behind the knee. After damage to the knee joint, the joint fluid increases and fills the so-called bursa, a cavity in the posterior-inner part of the knee. The joint fluid is a dense, gelatinous fluid. When viewed with superficial ultrasound, a balloon-like appearance with a neck associated with the joint is observed.

It may appear anechoic, i.e. black, or it may appear complicated, i.e. with bands inside. Sometimes it is seen as burst, in which case the gelatinous fluid leaking between the patient's muscles causes severe pain. Since the fluid is gelatinous, it takes a long time to be absorbed and therefore the pain does not go away for a long time.

What causes Baker's cyst?

Baker's cyst is a joint cyst. Baker's cyst is caused by joint damage, injuries to the knee joint and long-term degenerative diseases. As a result of these disorders, intra-articular fluid increases and the increased fluid fills the space behind the knee called bursa. Especially rheumatic diseases, joint disorders such as degenerative osteoarthritis, traumas applied to the knee cause this condition.

How to recognize a Baker's cyst?

Baker's cyst manifests itself as a swelling on the inner back of the knee. This swelling gradually increases and may take the form of a plump sausage that moves downwards between the muscles. It causes increasing pain, especially with knee movements.

It causes severe pain when the knee is stretched, when the leg is extended, and when the leg is folded underneath, such as when praying. Patients usually describe a sharp pain during these movements.

When Baker's cyst enlarges, it causes significant limitation of movement. If left to its own devices, it grows larger and larger, sometimes bleeding into it and causing even more pain. Sometimes it bursts and the gelatinous fluid leaking between the muscles causes severe pain.

This condition, which causes severe pain in the back of the lower leg, is often confused with deep vein thrombosis or thrombophlebitis. If ultrasound and Doppler ultrasound are not performed and the patient's history is not taken properly, it may be treated incorrectly.

Once the cyst is diagnosed, it can be followed up and/or treated depending on its size. In order to decide on this, the patient's clinic, the size of the cyst and the experience of the physician who will perform the procedure are important.

Will Baker's cyst go away on its own?

Spontaneous resolution of Baker's cyst may be possible in patients with acute ravages. However, in patients with chronic degenerative joint disorders and long-term joint damage, the cyst cannot be expected to resolve spontaneously as the joint damage will not disappear.

Baker's Cyst Treatment Ankara

When Baker's cyst starts to cause significant pain or becomes visible from the outside, patients ask: How is Baker's cyst treated? They do research.

Bandages and ice can be used temporarily, but this is a conservative treatment, which means that it can slow down the progression of the problem and provide some relief. In cases of severe pain or swelling, ice and bandage application does not give effective results in terms of treatment, on the contrary, it may cause increased pain.

In baker's cysts with pain and swelling, draining the cyst under ultrasound guidance is important for the effectiveness of the procedure and to reduce the possibility of recurrence. While some fluid may still remain in the cyst during blinded aspiration, ultrasound-guided aspiration allows the fluid to be aspirated completely. This ensures good results of the procedure and guarantees that the patient will not have complaints for a longer period of time.

After the painful Baker's cyst has been thoroughly drained by aspiration, an injection of glucocorticoids promotes the adhesion of the cyst wall in that area, which helps to reduce acute inflammation and thus reduces the likelihood of fluid refilling. It is then necessary to work on treating the patient's disease that caused the joint cyst.

What happens if Baker's cyst is not treated?

If a Baker's cyst is left untreated, it can bleed into the tissue and increase the pain, or it can swell and burst, spreading between the tissues and causing more pain. If it bursts, redness, severe pain and discoloration may occur in the lower leg. In order to differentiate it from deep vein thrombosis, Doppler ultrasound should be performed. They should definitely consult a specialist physician.

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Md. Rengin TürkgülerMd. Rengin TURKGULERInterventional Radiologist
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