Patient Comments: Baker's Cyst - Symptoms and Signs

What symptoms or signs did you experience with your Baker's cyst?

Comment from: LoriF, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 07

I visited my general physician (GP) with pain in my left leg and he said nothing appeared to be wrong. Next day the pain was worse and I had trouble walking, so I went to another GP. He sent me for an MRI, and I went following day back to the GP for results. I had a Baker's cyst that needed to be drained with ultra sound guidance. I went and had that done, some fluid was removed but the cyst had already burst. I couldn't walk without extreme pain, and 3 days later I passed out with the pain at 5 am. My husband called the ambulance and I was taken to hospital. I was there for 6 days just for pain control. I was discharged with a wheelchair, a walker and a shower/toilet chair. I was prescribed strong pain medication and continued to take it for 9 weeks. My GP suggested that I live in rehabilitation to get me walking again, but I chose physiotherapy. I am still attending physiotherapy twice a week and can now walk again, I walk slowly but can feel myself getting stronger each day. I wasn't given an anti-inflammatory medicine in hospital, I felt as if they just didn't know how to treat it. It has taken such a long time. I was confined to a wheelchair for 5 weeks. My husband had to do everything for me. I have been told it can happen again, so fingers crossed it doesn't. My advice would be get a second opinion and find a doctor or specialist who actually knows something about the condition. I discovered after I left the hospital that the doctor who was 'attending' to me was a kidney specialist, no wonder she said she had never seen the condition before!

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Comment from: mary, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 13

I was diagnosed with a ruptured Baker's cyst after months of agony and finally crying with a pain that couldn't be relieved with the strongest available medications. The cyst was inside my calf and was shaped like a sausage but was almost empty due to the rupture. This was evidenced by the ultrasound. I think the Baker's cyst wasn't diagnosed for so long because there was no bulge on the back of my knee. So it should be stated that sometimes the cyst is inside the calf and not visible without an ultrasound. I am still in pain 6 months later and will have an MRI tomorrow. I hope something can be done as I haven't been able to walk for almost 2 years.

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Comment from: Sandy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 06

I am a 60 year old female. I am teacher of Special Education at a public school. Three weeks ago I got out of bed and when I stood up I had pain in the knee, like a small sprain. Over the next 2 weeks the pain became constant and localized on the outside of my left knee. The pain continued to get worse to the point that I could barely walk and bending it to sit on the toilet or get into a car caused a small scream from me. I am not a screamer but this was more intense than anything I had ever experienced. My pain varied from a 2 to an 8 on the pain scale. Doctor thought I might have a tear in the tendon on that side. An MRI showed a ruptured Baker's cyst and I have an appointment next week with an orthopedist. Ten days ago I felt like something popped in my knee. Not painful pop but like a balloon popped. Pain has been much worse, especially any bending of the joint. I have to use a cane to support when I walk. Everything I read about this cyst does not show my symptoms. The pain continues to be on the outside of the knee primarily, a small amount of pain running down the back of the calf but there is no swelling or bruising.

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Comment from: Jenny, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: September 09

I am a 54 year old female, very fit and active. Approximately 1 year ago I was diagnosed with an atypical Baker's cyst behind a knee I had reconstructed 10 years ago. I had been doing a bit of running on holiday so the knee was slightly swollen but the calf pain concerned me that it might be a DVT (deep vein thrombosis). Anyway to cut a long story short I had the Baker's cyst drained; instant relief but it reappeared a week later. The biggest issue was that it was pressing on my tibial nerve so the pins and needles in my foot was so severe I couldn't put my heel down. After 3 aspirations my doctor gave me a cortisone injection into the knee and I had 6 months of bliss. Sadly 4 days ago I felt the same old tightening behind the knee and I am just hoping this doesn't get so big to cause pressure on the nerve again because that's the part that is too awful. The inevitability of surgery looms if this keeps reappearing but I haven't heard of too many people having this.

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Comment from: Judydot, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 01

My leg very slowly became swollen and my general physician (GP) sent me to Accident and Emergency A and E) but they did not examine my leg and sent me home with antibiotics for something on my chest. A few days later my leg and foot became so swollen I could not bear to put my foot down and was in absolute agony. My GP sent me back to A and E and this time they certainly noticed my leg; it was a vivid shade of purple. They thought it was DVT (deep vein thrombosis) and admitted me to hospital. The following day another doctor scanned my leg and discovered it was a ruptured Baker's cyst. By this time I needed help getting out of bed and would scream if anyone touched my leg. I was in hospital 9 days and could eventually walk with the help of a wheeled walker which I still use. Although the funny purple color has gone and it is less swollen I am in as much agony as ever and it is 4 weeks now. I am wondering how long the pain will go on for. I go on my holidays in less than 3 weeks and wonder how I am going to manage.

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Baker's Cyst - Describe Your Experience Question: Please describe your experience with a Baker's cyst.
Baker's Cyst - Treatments Question: What treatment was effective for your Baker's cyst?

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