Baker Cyst (Popliteal Cyst)

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

What types of doctors treat a Baker cyst?

Doctors who treat Baker cysts include general primary-care physicians, orthopedists, and rheumatologists.

What tests do doctors use to diagnose a Baker cyst?

Baker cysts can be diagnosed by the doctor's examination and confirmed by imaging tests (either ultrasound, injection of contrast dye into the knee followed by imaging, called an arthrogram, or MRI scan) if necessary.

What is the treatment for a Baker cyst?

Baker cysts often resolve with aspiration (removal) of excess knee fluid in conjunction with cortisone injection. Medications are sometimes given to relieve pain and inflammation.

When cartilage tears or other internal knee problems are associated, physical therapy or surgery can be the best treatment option. During a surgical operation, the surgeon can remove the swollen tissue (synovium) that leads to the cyst formation. This is most commonly done with arthroscopic surgery. Physical therapy is often done in the recovery period.

What is the recovery time after treatment of a Baker cyst?

Recovery time depends on the form of treatment rendered. With medications or injections into the knee, recovery can be rapid, within days to weeks. If surgical repair is done, recovery generally takes one to three months.

Are there home remedies for a Baker cyst?

Home remedies, prior to medical evaluation, include cold applications, resting, and avoiding overuse or injury to the involved knee.

What are potential complications of a Baker cyst?

Complications of a Baker cyst include blood clotting in the involved leg, as well as rupture of the Baker cyst, causing swelling and pain of the leg and bruising discoloration of the ankle.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/20/2016

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Arthritis Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

VIEW PATIENT COMMENTS
  • Baker Cyst - Describe Your Experience

    Please describe your experience with Baker cyst.

    Post View 92 Comments
  • Baker Cyst - Treatments

    What treatment was effective for your Baker's cyst?

    Post View 39 Comments
  • Baker Cyst - Symptoms

    What symptoms did you experience with your Baker cyst?

    Post View 17 Comments

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors