Baker’s cyst in the knee

Baker's cyst in the knee

A Baker’s cyst is fluid-filled in the back of the knee. It often develops as a result of chronic knee disease. A typical symptom is a swelling in the back of the knee that is usually easy to feel. A Baker’s cyst can usually be treated conservatively with anti-inflammatory ointments. If the symptoms still do not subside, an operation should be considered.

Knee damage as a cause

A Baker’s cyst usually develops due to chronic disease of the knee. These include meniscus damage or rheumatism. If there is damage or irritation in the knee area, the body tries to compensate for this by producing more synovial fluid. This creates a higher internal pressure in the joint, the connective tissue in the area relaxes, and a fluid-filled cyst can form.

A Baker’s cyst primarily affects people in middle-aged or old age. Occasionally, however, the symptoms can also occur in children.


Symptoms of a Baker’s cyst

A Baker’s cyst is usually easily palpable. The severity of the swelling depends, among other things, on physical activity. The more active the person concerned is, the more pronounced the symptoms are usually.

Those affected often complain about restricted movement in the knee. If the cyst presses on the surrounding nerve tracts and blood vessels, abnormal sensations can occur in the feet. If the cyst ruptures, pain in the knee becomes noticeable, which increases even more when pressure is applied.

Treating a Baker’s cyst

No treatment is usually necessary if a Baker’s cyst causes no symptoms. In the event of symptoms, anti-inflammatory drugs such as diclofenac or ibuprofen can be used. In rare cases, cortisone injections can also be administered. However, these are controversial due to possible side effects. If conservative therapy is ineffective, the Baker’s cyst can be surgically removed.

However, more important than treating the Baker’s cyst itself is treating the underlying cause. Otherwise, the cyst may recur again and again. For example, this should also be treated if the cyst results from meniscus damage.

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