Baker's Cyst Information

Last updated on 20 July 2019 by Danniel Jacques (B.Med.Sci UNSW)

What is a Baker’s Cyst?

Baker's Cyst

A baker cyst is a painful condition which can be characterised by swelling in the back of the knee.

This swelling occurs due to inflammation in the synovial joint which encapsulates the knee resulting in the out-pouching of fluid into a little balloon type sac from the synovial lining.

When this condition develops, synovial fluid (which is normally contained in a tough capsule that encases the knee joint) collects in the baker’s cyst and bulges behind the knee.

This is also called a “popliteal cyst” as it directly affects the popliteal region of the knee (that shallow depression located behind the knee joints).

If left untreated it is possible for it to rupture. A ruptured baker’s cyst may then cause the collected synovial fluid to transfer and travel down the calf muscles of the legs. This can then trigger rapid swelling and discomfort of the leg which may then cause further complications.

What Causes a Baker’s Cyst?

Baker’s cysts are quite common and can be caused by nearly any joint-related inflammation. Some of the most common causes may include;

  • A micro tear in the knee’s meniscal cartilage
  • Repetitive stress injury.
  • Wear & tear in the knee (which is more common in older adults)
  • Injury to the anterior cruciate ligament of the knee (ACL injury)
  • Sports-related injury that affects the knee
  • The type of work that a person does may also make them more susceptible. This include jobs that involve being on your knees, such as a gardener or carpenter. Also such jobs that require long shifts without sitting or unusual weight loading through the knees such as nursing.

A baker’s cyst is also know as a >> popliteal cyst

What are the Symptoms of a Baker’s Cyst?

Symptoms may include visible swelling or protrusion on the back of the knee (which can be either with our without pain), constant and prolonged knee pain, and tightness at the back of the knee or simply a feeling of tenderness at the back of the knee.

If left untreated a baker’s cyst may actually rupture. A ruptured or burst baker’s cyst can cause a lot of pain and discomfort and can present very similarly as a blood clot as there will also often be calf related pain.

How is a Baker’s Cyst Diagnosed?

It is always best to visit a qualified medical professional if you suspect that you have either a baker’s cyst or feel that your baker’s cyst may have ruptured or burst.

Your doctor will likely require you to have an ultrasound which will be able to confirm a diagnosis of baker’s cyst and also importantly rule out or alert the doctor of any existence of a blood clot.

If there is an infection suspected then a blood test and maybe an aspiration of the synovial fluid may be required for testing and culturing. In some cases an x-ray and or MRI may also be required to rule out any co-exist conditions that may have contributed to the condition.

Next Page: Learn the answers to the most common questions asked about treating a baker’s cyst, including:

Testimonials

Real accounts by real people. Hear what they have to say!

Baker's cyst

I used the patch for 3 days and I do a difference in the size of the cyst, how many days in a row can the patch be used? Any restrictions?

Elizabeth C.
New Jersey, United States
Baker's cyst

Received patches on 10 day (Nov.8). Thanks. Patches have been positive results for my Barkers Cyst. Will probably order more patches latter on to keep my knee in shape. Regards

Roger B
Alberta, Canada
Baker's cyst

Good morning We have been using your patches for a few days now and we find them helpful. They are draining fluid from the cyst and that is a good sign. Regards

Andy S
QLD, Australia
Joint Pain & Swollen Knee

I haven’t been able to walk for 7 months due to a knee injury, but these combined with my new pool exercises have made a big improvement to flexibility and swelling. Much appreciated! Kind Regards

Tracy B
Somerst, UK
Baker's cyst

Ok, I have an arthritic knee from playing American football and having an operation when I was 18. Going to a doctor to have it drained would cost me well over $220… I tried the OSMO Patch about a 1-2 years ago, thinking it may be a gimmick, and is was no gimmick because it works. The pressure on my knee is lessened by morning and I can move around a lot better. I’m health conscious, watch what I eat, go to the gym 3-4 times a week and of course I work. It is important to be open to alternatives to the traditional doctor visit and the “give me a pill” attitude that most of the public has because we, as individuals, have to realize that we, not someone else, are the most interested in our own health. Thank you!

Mike M
Wisconsin, United States
Baker's cyst

Hello Danniel, Thank you for your prompt reply.

I started using the patches about 10 days ago, and the amount of improvement is unbelievable. The lump was rock hard, and I could not bend the knee, nor straighten the leg. Even though there is still some swelling, the knee feels almost normal. I have run out of the patches, so will restart as soon as I receive the new batch…hopefully it will all go away. Thank you for your help, and good luck…

Maria P
SA, Australia
Baker's cyst

I just send you an other order of patches, It helps me a lot especially to sleep because I am always in pain with my bakers’cyst so I do not want to run out of patches. Thank You

Lilianne L
Ontario, Canada
Baker's cyst

Dear Sir or Madam: I purchased the OSMO patch several weeks ago and just started using them 4 days ago for my Bakers Cyst behind my knee.  I must admit I was very skeptical but I have noticed a change and less swelling in the area behind my knee.   Thank you

Karen B
Illinois, United States
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