Baker's Cyst Information

Last reviewed on 16 January 2024 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!

Knee problems

Dear Danniel,

I fell 1.5 meters landing on my patella. The pain was severe, after 2 weeks on crutches I was left with a fluid-filled bursa the size of half a golf-ball. I already had a swelling just below my kneecap for 5 years, and another specialist had thought this was probably a lipoma.

I’ve used 16 patches so far, in conjunction with acupuncture. The bursa began to shrink from the first patch, and is now almost gone. I’ve been able to return to my Taiji classes. What is more surprising is that the ‘lipoma’ also has almost vanished.

So, no invasive needle drainage for me, no surgery, and I’m recovering fast.

I am very impressed

Paul S
Auckland, New Zealand
Bursitis in the knee

Hi,

I ordered these patches for my son who has terrible bursitis in his knee. He owns a carpet installing business, and the constant kicking has really damaged his knee.

He took meds, had a steroid shot, nothing worked. The doctor told him he needed surgery. I had found your patches online, and they have worked for him.

Thanks so much, Sincerely

Sandra C
Rochester, United States
Knee problems

Many thanks Toky….

The patches were fab last time and it’s now been over 6 months since I have had to use them.

Alas, it seems my bursitis is back, so hence the need for the wonder patches……

I got a bit careless with kneeling on my knee, so all my fault

Sarah K
West Sussex, United Kingdom
General & Knee problems

Hi,

I have used your patches with great success for a bursa that I got when I was thrown from a horse.

I have used it also for my husband’s knee.

Thanks

Joan G
North Carolina, United States
Fluid on knee

I had a sac of fluid to the upper-right of my knee. Quite large. I continued to pursue my daily routine which consisted of morning workouts at the gym including ‘spin’ class. Needless to say, I aggravated the whole situation. My leg became swollen, and quite painful. It was only after the swelling went down did I notice the sac.

Upon searching myself for possible causes, I came across your site and since it was a ‘natural’ remedy, I didn’t think it would do any harm. I’ve had good results with other natural products, so why not give it a try.

After three days on the patch, I found that the sac pretty much dissolved. Was I going to heal anyway? Maybe. Was it the combination of natural healing and the stimulation of the patch? Maybe. In any event, I am now sac free.

Vickie M
Rhode Island, United States
Knee problems

Dear Toky,

Some time ago I corresponded with you and was duly sent 10 patches to try for bursitis of the knee. As I am a Carmelite Nun, our life is dedicated to prayer so kneeling is rather important!! I kept off the knee for a long time before trying the patches and found it helped to ease the condition, however, it still felt painful to kneel.

After using the first night, sure enough, there were signs fluid had been drawn off. The second night the same. The area became flat and normal. I have gingerly begun kneeling again with knee pads. However, I have noticed there is now no pain and the knee looks perfectly normal.

This was a couple of weeks ago, and I thought I would give it a good go to make sure before informing you of the patches’ success! So that is good news, and I am delighted.

I would also like to mention that your attitude to your customers is exemplary and obviously sincere. I am very grateful and will certainly recommend them.

Thanks, Every blessing

Carmelite Sister (Sr)
Carmelite Monastery, Christchurch, New Zealand
Bursa on knee

Dear Friends at MediWise,

I had what a nurse practitioner at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London called ‘that huge bursa’ on my right knee as a direct result of falling from the top of a railway staircase when the city was inundated with a snowfall and resulting ice.

I received your patches the day before yesterday, and after two nights am now completely back to normal. I cannot thank you enough. This is one of the BEST investments I have ever made, and I will certainly be happy to recommend it to anyone who is looking for rapid relief from bursitis.

Cheers for now,

Bruce W
London, United Kingdom
Knee Bursitis

Hello Jasmine,

I just wanted to say that my husband has been using the patches for a few days now and they have definitely made a difference to his knee.

I have brought some more from one of your UK stockists, The Health Workshop, and they, like you, could not have been more helpful.

Thank you!

Pamela A
Welshpool Powys, United Kingdom
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