What is a Baker’s Cyst?

A Baker’s cyst is a back-of-the-knee swelling caused by excess fluid in the knee joint. Pain and a restriction in your ability to bend your knee are occasionally related with it. A Baker’s cyst is almost typically caused by a problem with the knee joint, such as osteoarthritis or meniscal (cartilage) tears. A ruptured Baker’s cyst occurs when a Baker’s cyst ruptures. Fluid leaks into the calf muscle as a result of the rupture, which can produce more severe, acute discomfort. The calf can become bloated, red, and sensitive at times. If you experience these symptoms, go to A&E to make sure you haven’t got a deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

A diagnostic ultrasound scan is required to diagnose a Baker’s cyst. A comprehensive examination by a properly educated physician should be performed on any bump or swelling in the body. At Joint Injection’s, we do a diagnostic ultrasound scan at no additional cost on your initial visit. We recommend that you leave the cyst alone if it is not causing you any concerns. We can aspirate (drain) the cyst using ultrasound guidance if it is uncomfortable, restricting your movement and/or affecting your function. We may also recommend injecting a little dose of steroid into the knee joint to lessen the chances of the cyst reoccurring.
What are the symptoms of a Baker’s Cyst?

  • A palpable swelling at the back of the knee is the predominant symptom.
  • This could be linked to soreness in the back of the knee.
  • When bending the knee, such as when kneeling or squatting, there is a limitation.

If this sounds like your issue, keep reading…

Other conditions that are associated with a Baker’s Cyst

Baker’s Cyst is also linked to the following conditions: 
  • Meniscal (cartilage) tear
  • Knee osteoarthritis 
  • Pain in the patellofemoral (knee cap) joint

Baker’s Cyst vs Prepatella bursitis
A Baker’s cyst is an enlargement of the back of the knee caused by fluid in the joint. Intra-articular (within the knee joint) swelling is this fluid, whereas prepatella bursitis is swelling on the front of the knee, outside the knee joint, and is known as extra-articular swelling. A prepatella bursitis, often known as ‘housemaid’s knee,’ is a big swelling at the front of the knee that is frequent in those who work on their knees for long periods of time, such as carpenters and floor layers.
What is a Baker’s Cyst, and how does it affect you?
A Baker’s cyst is a swollen or lumpy spot on the back of the knee joint. It’s linked to osteoarthritis, cartilage loss, and torn ligaments in the knee, and it can be excruciatingly painful.

A popliteal cyst, also known as a Baker’s cyst, is a fluid-filled growth that occurs near the back of the knee. The huge mass that seems to be a cyst is benign, and while it can be unpleasant, it is readily addressed.

Baker’s cysts cure without therapy in the majority of cases and cause little or no pain. If the Baker’s cyst is painful, it can be drained and then injected with steroids to keep it from developing back.

When swelling develops at the back of the knee, it can put pressure on the soft tissue structure, causing pain. It can happen while the knee is fully bent or totally straight, putting greater stress and tension on the joint.

Symptoms also include

  • Stiffness
  • Pain
  • Joint mobility is reduced.
  • Knee pain during stretching or flexing
  • Loading activities, such as going up and down the stairs, cause pain.
  • Joint locking can occur as a result of cartilage injury in the knee
  • A sense of pressure and pinching discomfort in the back of the knee is common among patients. They can generally feel a bump on the back of the knee, but not always.

A Baker’s cyst might rupture at any time. It may feel as if there is a sudden relief of pressure. A feeling of fluid flowing down your leg is common. Swelling and bruising in the calf area of your lower leg may occur if this happens.


What is the best way to tell if you have Baker’s Cyst
If you are experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms, you should seek medical advice from a physiotherapist or a doctor. Other potential causes of discomfort and swelling in this area may necessitate medical care.

When your physician examines you, for example, they will seek to rule out any other possible diagnosis. Deep vein thrombosis or any nerve or blood vessel abnormalities at the back of the knee are examples.

What is the average time it takes to heal Baker’s Cyst
Unfortunately, a Baker’s cyst can last for a long time, especially if it’s accompanied by osteoarthritis or ligament damage in the knee. They do, however, occasionally rupture after a few weeks. If you experience new or worsened persistent knee pain in the next 4-6 weeks, we recommend seeking therapy.

What is the best way to treat Baker’s Cyst
Treatment isn’t always necessary. Only if the symptoms are uncomfortable or seriously limiting a person’s ability to function would we consider treatment.

At Joint Injection’s, we can do a thorough examination of the knee. An ultrasound scan will also be performed. It’s important for diagnosing a Baker’s Cyst and distinguishing it from other possible causes of pain and swelling. If the cyst is uncomfortable, it can be aspirated once we have a definitive diagnosis of a Baker’s cyst (the fluid drained from the cyst). Then, to settle the cyst and lessen pain and inflammation in the knee, we’d inject a mixture of steroid and local anaesthetic.

Joint Injection’s experts are dual-trained, highly specialised physiotherapists and musculoskeletal sonographers with extensive experience diagnosing all knee disorders. We provide a ‘one-stop’ clinic, which means you’ll get an examination, a diagnostic ultrasound, and, if necessary, an ultrasound-guided injection.