Baker’s Cyst can be defined as a fluid-filled sac present behind the knee. Medically termed as a popliteal cyst, it usually feels like a tight bulge and shoots out extreme pain when the person is active or tries to straighten or flex the knee. Also Read: Tenosynovitis: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
Although the disorder might not concern much, it is the underlying condition that makes it uncomfortable to bear and should be treated sooner to avoid further complications. Also Read: Ganglion Cyst – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
The fluid-filled sac at the back of the knee occurs when there is too much accumulation of synovial fluid. This synovial fluid is usually produced in the joints to help the leg swing smoothly and lessen friction between the moving parts of the knee. But this kind of fluid accumulation usually happens due to the following causative factors, which are:
In most cases, until the inflammation in the knee becomes severe, there are no signs and symptoms at the onset of the baker’s cyst. But the common signs and symptoms at a later stage include:
- Pain and burning sensation at the knee
- Swelling behind your knee
- Swelling in the leg
- Stiffness and inability to fully stretch the knee
If the cyst is left untreated without rectifying the underlying condition, the cyst may swell up and burst to cause:
- Swelling in the calf muscles
- Agonising pain in the knee
- Reddening of the calf
Diagnosis And Treatment
In case you notice, any of the above-mentioned signs and symptoms, it is strongly advised to visit a doctor at the earliest for sooner diagnosis and treatment. The doctor usually does a thorough physical examination but since the symptoms often mimic that of a blood clot in the vein, the doctor usually does imaging tests like Ultrasound, X-ray, MRI-scan, etc.
In most cases, the fluid inside the cyst dries up on its own, thus reducing the pain, but in case the cyst is too large and tight, the doctor may choose the following treatment options which include:
Medications: The doctor may prescribe for corticosteroid medicines to reduce the inflammation and get relief from the pain.
Fluid Drainage: With the help of ultrasound, the doctor may perform needle aspiration by piercing the cyst with a needle and draining out the fluid.
Physical therapy: After draining the fluid, the doctor usually suggests the patient put some ice compression at the site of pain followed by a slow range of motions and some strengthening exercises for the muscles around the knee to help reduce the pain.
Surgery: In case the cyst happens due to a cartilage tear, as a last resort the doctor may even perform surgery to remove or repair the cartilage.
Home Remedies For Baker’s Cyst
Home remedies include:
- Ice compression
- Reduction of physical activity
- Epsom salt bath
- Massage with castor oil
- Consumption of Vitamin B1 rich foods