Patient Comments: Baker's Cyst - Treatments

Question:

What treatment was effective for your Baker's cyst? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: ARLENE, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 18

I was diagnosed with Baker's cyst a month ago. I had no idea it was in the back of the knee until I was working in the back yard, and had pain so bad I could not stand. I have tried everything staying off it, elevating, hot and cold remedy, taped the knee, and wrapped the knee. Naturopath wrap with castor oil with a heating pad works for a little bit but no relief is constant. Taking ibuprofen relieves some of the pain but if I stop taking it, unbelievable pain. I have been active all my life hiking, biking, yard work, this is the most debilitating thing ever. I hope no one else has to deal with this.

Comment from: have it, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 16

I have my Baker's cyst aspirated every 3 months, more or less. Instant relief. It keeps refilling but a few minutes at the vein doctor's office is my cure. Since it appears that surgical removal of the cyst is not always the permanent cure, I prefer to just have it aspirated. Pain for the procedure is minimal. I think a tetanus shot is much more painful than the initial pinch of the needle to aspirate the cyst.

Comment from: pcat, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 07

If you have a lot of painful swelling all around knee, get a needle aspiration (if you don't have diabetes or some other limiting condition). I wished I had known about that easy procedure, and insisted upon it! Cortisone helped some but the Baker's cyst ruptured and 4 months later I was still trying to get back to normal. Elevate in bed, ice, no bending, and no kneeling. No dancing. Aleve helps.

Comment from: LoveApollo, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: November 08

I broke my Baker's cyst 3 years ago in a fall. I had it drained and injected 3 times, under ultra sound. The last treatment did not help. On 11/3/16 I had cold laser therapy for the first time. It immediately released the scar tissue which prevented me from climbing stairs. I no longer need pain relievers.

Comment from: Nosurrender, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 02

I recently awoke with a very painful knot behind my knee, with pain running down my calf. I thought maybe a DVT (deep vein thrombosis), but was diagnosed with a Baker's cyst. I was told nothing could be done, except to maybe aspirate it. It apparently ruptured, as the knot is gone, my calf is green and bruised looking, and the calf pain is incredible. My doctor told me that continued activity will help speed the re absorption of the fluid in my calf, so I take ibuprofen and push through. The one thing that I have found that truly makes a difference is an exercise called Piyo. It's a more dynamic form of yoga. The deep stretches and strengthening of the muscles supporting my knee bring me more pain relief than any of the other suggested treatments that I've tried. Also, drinking lots of water seems to help in flushing out the drainage in my calf muscle.

Comment from: RJ7, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 29

This is not a recommendation. Weigh your options carefully. When I saw the doctor for my finger infection I was prescribed an antiviral medicine. I later learned that I had a herpetic whitlow. For two months I thought it was a skin irritation. In any event, the medication was intolerable, complete poison. I put crushed garlic over the infection, wrapped in gauze tape for as long as tolerable, and then followed up with warm saline soaks.

Comment from: lether, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 03

I had my Baker's cyst aspirated two days ago and the area still sore. It also hurts to walk.

Comment from: Karen, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 30

Last week, I was peeling potatoes at the kitchen island, was hit with the most excruciating pain in my left knee, and could not stand or put any weight on it for three days. I was taken to the hospital by paramedics and was in the emergency room 8 hours and then I was admitted. On having an MRI on both knees five years ago I was diagnosed with a ganglion cyst and a Baker's cyst in my left knee; I just knew one of those cyst had burst as the pain was behind my left knee and down my calf. I was in the hospital two days, so now I am home recuperating. I do not feel the doctor, who treated me could know or imagine the pain one feels when these cysts rupture, as they tried to walk me immediately. I could not stand, bend my leg nor put any weight on it. They will be doing in-home therapy and my left knee will be replaced this year. Both cysts are now gone. Trust they will never return.

Comment from: Dick, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: May 04

I got a Baker's cyst on my knee that I had a full Knee replacement. It got infected and I was put on an antibiotic (nafcillin) for 6 weeks. I had to have metal taken out of knee and a spacer was put in. Four months later I am about to have knee replacement with metal put back in. This has been the most painful 4 months I have ever had in my life and I am 79 years old. The scary part reading is that the cyst could come back. I hope not.

Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Comment from: Stovegirl, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 07

I developed a Baker's cyst I think while running, but continued to exercise for the last year plus I've been doing a lot of Zumba and walking several miles a day. I have been to the knee doctor for advice and had 2 cortisone shots that worked just okay for a short time. I'm not sure I will get another as I read it damages cartilage! Great! So now I'm looking at draining option and possible knee injections of something like Euflexxa. I'm not sure if I want to do that as it is expensive and some bad results have been reported by some. I've retired from Zumba but not walking so far, and the weight is creeping up which is not good either! Very difficult. Advil, ice, heat wraps are the only relief when I exercise. It is not as bad as some report, I'm not running much at all and trying to just walk briskly. This cyst is not fun!

Comment from: maryann, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: March 18

I had a Baker's cyst prior to total knee replacement that didn"t bother me at all. I felt the lump but it didn"t hurt or affect the bending of the knee. Since having a total knee replacement (TKR) for it, the Baker's cyst fills up almost monthly, doesn"t hurt particularly but makes bending the knee difficult because the entire knee swells up. In addition, it appears as if the cyst burst once and blood filled the knee joint and the cyst. It continues to fill almost monthly and I"m not sure if it is blood each time or synovial fluid. No one seems to be able to give me that answer. The bottom line: having TKR does not guarantee that the Baker's cyst will be fixed. It could get worse as it has in my case. TKR should be done only if the pain in the knee from osteoarthritis is unbearable, not to fix the cyst.

Comment from: Need a knee, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

I have had a Bakers cyst for 3 years. I'm a golfer and I work out at least 3 days a week. The Baker's cyst really ends your activity. My chiropractor set my knee every week; also he used cold therapy laser treatment! It rid me of the cyst for a good year. Just recently it reared its ugly head again. It has been a week with chiropractor and almost walking normal!

Comment from: Carmen, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 03

I have one total knee replacement and waiting for nerve to have other knee replaced. I was walking down only 1 porch step and began to walk when I heard a very loud pop and I felt like someone had shot me in the back of my knee. Everyone heard the pop and I could not put any weight on my foot for at least 5 minutes. I began walking around slowly and for days my calf ached like I had been ran over by a truck. Someone gasped at the black bruise running from behind my knee to my ankle. All seems well now. I never called my Dr but at my last visit with my Arthritis Dr he explained what had happened....Baker Cyst.

Comment from: marian, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 08

I fell on some rocks and hurt my right side, ribs, shoulder, and knee but it was my left foot that was broken. I was able to get myself up and drive to the emergency room for x-rays. I had little or no pain in my foot. I saw my doctor the next morning.

Comment from: ELISA KAJURA, 65-74 Female (Caregiver) Published: June 01

I am a patient who takes atorvastatin once a day, but still I don't get any improvement. Whenever I go for checkup, I find my triglyceride is high, 3.33.

Comment from: Brian, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: April 20

I am 76 with a ruptured Baker's cyst. I am unable to do much without lots of pain behind right knee, and my foot is swollen, almost twice its size. I am keeping ice packs almost hourly. I went to emergency twice, first told it was cellulitis, then I had more testing. I can't get out of a chair or bed without help.

Comment from: Al Jones, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 24

I am an active 63 year old marine engineer still working, diagnosed last year with a Baker's cyst plus early osteoarthritis. Walking down stairs is extremely hard and my job means I am on my feet working 12 hour shifts which is making my knee problems so much worse. I was prescribed Celebrex and Panadol Osteo; very little effect on my knees. I had a cartridge removed when I was a soccer mad 16 year old, bad move I now think. I am not offered surgery or cortisone injections, and night pain is increasing. Voltaren gel is ineffective. I am waiting to see an orthopedic surgeon.

Comment from: Gail, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 19

About a week ago, I was diagnosed with a Baker's cyst behind my right knee. My right leg and foot are much larger than the left, due to swelling. I do have osteoarthritis in both knees and am wearing unloader braces on both. But the continuous aching and pain in the right knee are relentless. The knee feels much better when I wear the brace, but there is no avoiding the pain. I have been on oxycodone and Tylenol 4, but nothing provides relief for the pain. I am taking Tylenol 4 every morning. My primary care physician has made a referral to the only hip and knee clinic in the city, but the wait is 4 to 5 months, before I will be able to see the next available doctor. I know it is horrible and nasty for me to say but I hope the cyst ruptures and I end up in the hospital. Maybe then someone will care enough to help me. I no longer enjoy life, and try to never leave the house.

Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Comment from: Dave, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: June 02

I have a Baker's cyst behind both knees. I have had some pretty painful broken bones in my life but this constant pain is the most debilitating condition of all. Last week my right leg has been drained 2 times both producing 30 odd ml of fluid each time. I am beside myself with pain in both legs at this time. This site has been helpful as my doctors and local hospital have not given any ideas of treatment apart from draining once a week.

Comment from: Raphael, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: April 30

I'm 37 years old and have a very painful Baker's cyst behind my left knee since September last year. Before that I would practice sports every day; running, boxing, squash, basketball, etc. Now I just can't do any of those. The problem is the Baker's cyst is small and very deep inside the knee, behind a lot of soft tissues and muscles. I can't feel it with my fingers, it can only be seen on the MRI. The physiotherapy (massage plus ultrasound treatment) didn't help. So I'm thinking about a surgery but it seems to be a bit of a gamble because to reach the cyst, the surgeon would need to damage all the tissue above it and therefore new problems may arise. I wouldn't care much if it didn't hurt, but I can't squat, run, etc.

Comment from: Cynthia, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 30

I believe I am in the minority of patients who is helped by staying off nightshades and caffeine. When I indulge in nightshades and caffeine what appears to be a Baker's cyst or synovial fluid buildup in the back of one knee worsens. When I stay off the above I have no problem running 3 miles 3 days/week. It is hard to stay off the foods but definitely worth trying for 1 or 2 weeks to see if it helps. And remember that caffeine is found in chocolate.

Comment from: 8280160, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: December 19

I am 22 year old fit female. I ruptured my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) while skiing three and a half months ago and developed DVT (deep vein thrombosis) shortly after the injury. Finally got the all clear of no more DVT and had my ACL reconstruction surgery last week. A precautionary ultrasound looking for DVT found a Baker's cyst. There was no pain until day 4 and it is nothing like I've experienced before. Not helping my surgery recovery either as bending my knee is limited due to the pain and swelling. Like others have said, neither oxycodone nor tramadol have been able to relieve the pain.

Comment from: LizMac, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 11

To my knowledge I never had a Baker's cyst until after a total knee replacement (TKR) of my left knee in 2006. From the day of the surgery to now (7/2014) I have had problems with that knee swelling. I've been to at least 7 highly regarded specialists. No one could ever find a cause for the swelling. I would be just standing and within 30 seconds my knee would swell to the point I could not walk. Sometimes it swelled so much my knee felt like it dislocated and I screamed for days. About 10 months ago I was diagnosed with a chronic deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in that leg. So when my knee suddenly swelled a couple of weeks ago, my doctor sent me to the emergency room (ER) for ultrasound. There was no clot but I was told I had a Baker's cyst. I assume it had sprung a leak. Then earlier this week, I woke up with the worst pain imaginable in the calf. It was huge, hot, and red. I went back to ER by ambulance because I couldn't bend my knee to get into a car. I had another ultrasound and was told my cyst had ruptured and the empty sac had been sucked down into the calf with the synovial fluid. They said nothing could be done. I have stayed mostly in bed with the leg elevated and ice on the calf off and on. This is day four. My leg from the knee to my ankle is swollen, purple and hurts to touch. I didn't have a cyst problem until after my TKR. I had a TKR of my right knee about four years ago by a different surgeon/different hospital and have never had one second's problem. Only had to have four sessions of physiotherapy. Two weeks after that surgery I was at a baseball game walking up and down the stands without help of any kind. Now I have had to give up my volunteer job.

Comment from: 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 04

I was just told I have a Baker's cyst behind my knee. I first started having terrible pain behind my knee, lower leg and upper leg. My knee is weak, I have been wrapping my leg and it seems to helping. I am also taking pain medication. My doctor wants me to go a specialist, I can"t really afford that right now. I"ve decided to take charge of my body by dieting, and being a little more aware of my limitations because I"m not in my 20s anymore.

Comment from: XocaiKy, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: September 28

I was recently diagnosed with a Baker's cyst (broke right foot and in healing tore left leg up), and as it is an inflammatory condition, I increased my consumption of Healthy Chocolate (TM) and reduced the swelling by consuming high amounts of antioxidants. This same pharmaceutical grade chocolate had previously eliminated the arthritis I had in my hands, and it tastes good! Replace the junk chocolate candy you undoubtedly eat with Healthy Chocolate and feel the difference!

Comment from: Patricia, 55-64 Female Published: May 21

Almost two years ago, I developed a Baker's Cyst behind my left knee. I believe it was caused by improper use of a treadmill, though I suffered no particular injury. It just developed and one day I discovered this lump about the size of a ping-pong ball behind my knee. I had the lovely experience of going to 3 doctors for help and being told that it was just one of those things I would have to live with, after all, I was getting older, blah, blah, blah. They all said it could not be healed without surgery, which has its own dangers. I refused to believe them and decided to treat the cyst myself. I got a support bandage for starters and kept the leg elevated whenever feasible. Then I began gentle leg exercises like knee extensions to strengthen the overall leg muscles from ankle on up and to stabilize the knee. I did both legs, for good measure and yoga for overall body strength and flexibility. It took a year of concerted effort, but it worked. The cyst is now the size of a pea and no problem. I'm just more careful these days.

Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Comment from: kariann330, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 20

I ended up having mine surgically removed as a minor. There was no initial pain as it wasn't caused by trauma but was caused by extra tissue in the joint. Over time before removal there was tightness in my calf and wearing heels was not an option at all. Now that it has been several years my knee is 100% again and I am able to do whatever I wish, swimming, wearing heels, dancing ect.

Comment from: Joyce Finch, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: January 10

My mother phoned me two nights ago crying out in pain about a terrible pain in her knee, I called an ambulance for her because she was hyperventilating with the pain she was taken to emergency and admitted over night the pain was so bad she had to be given morphine, after x-rays it showed it was a bakers cyst that had ruptured they drained the fluid from her knee, and she was discharged the next day, I have never heard of a Bakers cyst before.

Comment from: craig, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: November 10

I am a 58 year old male who has run most of my life but after a race on 9/18/11 a cyst formed behind my left knee. I managed this by stopping running, heat and cold treatments. I was recently concerned with some pain issues from my knee down but as of today i am finally feeling normal now. I did wrap my knee recently and applied more heat. This had taken 2 months to heal. I will probably stay away from running through the winter and see how i feel in the spring. My 5km time was 24:00 min.!!!

Comment from: Diane Fisher, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 16

I am an extremely active 37 year old female. I teach Yoga 5-6 times per week, run 3 times per week, and use the elliptical 2 times per week. I have Bakers' Cysts on the back of BOTH knees. One recently ruptured, and the pain is intense with it shooting, and throbbing to my swollen ankle. My husband is a Pain Physician/Anesthesiologist, but doesn't know much about these types of cysts. If I have them on both knees, is that indicative of a tear in the knee meniscus? Since I run a lot (9 miles at a time), I assume I ripped something along the way.

Comment from: Mary, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: February 14

I recently was diagnosed with a Baker's cyst that ruptured. The pain was so bad in the calf of my left leg I screamed. I have a high tolerance of pain but this pain was deep in the muscle. I went to Urgent Care and the Dr there sent me to the ER. They took an ultra sound and ruled out blood clot but were unable to see anything else. I then went to see my primary Dr and he examined and measured the legs and the left leg was so swollen. He then said that it was Baker's cyst that burst and the synovial fluid drained down into the calf causes inflammation. I was put on Oxycodone at the hospital so the pain is slowly subsiding but still hurts. I am unable to take oxycodone while at work as I work with children and need to be alert. So am taking Aleve. Just a matter of time before it heals.

Comment from: 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 28

I had arthroscopy surgery to repair torn cartilage knowing Baker's cyst was behind my knee. It burst and caused pain and bruising down the calf area. Now two and a half months later the knee and ankle still swell and are tight. Pity surgeons don't seem to know much about it.

Comment from: Brenda, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 10

I am getting ready to see an orthopedic surgeon. I just want the Baker's cyst out. I had started spin and cycling back in January. I had a terrible fall in December, which I think caused the cyst. In addition, an arthroscopic procedure to the knee over 20 years ago, which was also causing me pain in the front area of the knee. Whatever it is, has to be from the fall. I want it out.

Comment from: Sandy, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 28

After first getting an MRI, an ultrasound determined that I had a Baker's Cyst. The orthopedic surgeon gave me the following three choices of treatment: Drain the cyst, arthroscopic surgery or a cortisone "cocktail". I opted for the cortisone and had some immediate relief and within 72 hours substantial relief. It is now 9 months later and I am fully recovered, but do avoid things like deep knee bends.

Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 16

I am a 51 year old woman and have had swelling from fluid in my knee and calf. I took Celebrex for 9 days, but the swelling didn't go down very much. As a matter of fact after I stopped the Celebrex it seemed that the swelling concentrated in my calf. The pain is so bad since my mobility is restricted. I walk with a limp sometimes. I had an ultrasound to check for a blood clot and they diagnosed me with a baker's cyst. I may also have a calf injury since I'm not sure if the calf swelling is from a ruptured baker's cyst or a calf injury. So more testing and evaluation is needed.

Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Comment from: bedbound, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 18

To those of you who have a Baker's Cyst - my sympathy. The pain is worse than child birth. Beware of orthodox doctors. I have had a cyst for over a month and have seen three doctors to try to get some relief. I have had numerous X-rays, MRI, and ultrasounds. I have had two injections along with an aspiration and have determined there is no hope of relief. I am now trying ginger tea daily. It has destroyed any life since you end up lying in bed with it elevated and iced. After thousands of wasted dollars basically it's life and old age. I am only 56 and cannot believe there is not a solution to this problem. I am exercising only to end up with three plus edema at the end of the day. Any advice or success of easing the pain would be appreciated. Surgery is not an option at least for me.

Comment from: Purplelily, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 25

I had a tightening in the back of my knee which felt as though the tendon wasn't stretching. It would go away after a few minutes and was not continuous. About two weeks ago, my knee began to swell for no apparent reason. I limited my activity, iced it, and took ibuprofen. Well today after loved ones said you really need to see what is going on, I went to a doctor. Immediately -- fluid at rear of the knee – Baker's cyst, slight arthritis, and bone spur on the knee cap. So I had the fluid aspirated (30 ccs drawn when there is typically 5 ccs) and cortisone inserted. I am taking anti-inflammatories for the next week. Within hours the swelling has gone down and the pain is more like soreness.

Comment from: 48globugg, 45-54 Published: January 06

On Christmas Eve I was walking and experienced the worse pain ever. From behind my calf the pain occurred, knee became numb, toes swelled. After a visit to the ER I was told I had a Baker's Cyst and it had burst. My calf and shin became bruised. I could not touch my skin. I could not walk. I iced and elevated my leg foe 3 days. On day 4 I found a long bruise down on my ankle and the entire ankle area became a purple colored bruise. I continue to do my exercises to stretch the tendons. My walk is just about normal. Thanks for letting me share.

Comment from: panagringa, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: January 07

I have a Baker's cyst which is very painful. It was drained but pain continues. Had ultrasound, X-rays twice, and MRI. Appears I also have a tear in the Meniscus and surgery is scheduled for six days from now. Pain is severe and I have to stay in bed as walking is so painful. Doctor says surgery to mend the tear might help but is not assured. I was taken oxycodone 20 mg but it has not helped the pain except it makes me sleep.

Comment from: alicewonderswhy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 21

I have suffered with a Baker's cyst for three years. I had a cortisone injection two years ago that worked fine. A new doctor will not give me a shot, another specialist will not operate. I am in agony every day. Who will help me? I cannot sleep somedays and can hardly walk.

Comment from: Florida Gal, Published: July 12

While waiting to take a cruise, my left knee gave out on me with extreme pain. It resulted in my husband and I having to cancel our cruise and return home. An MRI showed a Baker's Cyst and torn cartilage. I had surgery to remove the cartilage but the Baker's cyst got really bad. I did not know I had this cyst until the MRI. After reading other reports I wonder if the swollen Baker's Cyst caused my knee to give out on me resulting in torn cartilage. The doctor says we should not remove it, but I am wondering if that is correct.

Comment from: Jodi, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 20

I had a Baker's cyst twice in a few months. I was going for physical therapy for my right knee and started to get some pain on the back of my knee and down my calf. I was treated at physical therapy with ultrasound 4 to 5 times and it went away! Physical therapy is the best root to go for any joint pain.

Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 15

I was walking up the driveway and felt a sharp pain in the back of my leg just below my knee. I could hardly get myself into the house. I immediately put some ice on it thinking it was a pulled muscle. Two days later I went to the doctor and she told me that it was a Baker'ss cyst that ruptured. I received some cream to rub into the pain area and take ibuprofen twice a day and wrap my lower leg. Hoping this only lasts a few days. It is very painful to walk.

Comment from: pcscherden, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 02

My experience with the popular Baker's cyst happened about a year ago. I am a 57 year old female and walked about 3 miles at least 5 days a week for over a year. My knees suddenly felt very painful and I was diagnosed with osteo-arthritis. I really slowed down with the walking and the pain got worse at which time I was diagnosed with a Baker's cyst. About 7 months later I was found to have one behind the other knee! For me, the steroid injections have worked great. I know they won't go away, but for now I am happy.

Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Comment from: Silhouette, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: November 06

Male, 63 years old, good physical condition in general, fairly muscular up top, about 15 pounds overweight. Was diagnosed with a Baker's Cyst about a year and a half ago via sonogram. Doctor decided to leave it alone. PROBLEM: The cyst is NOT directly behind my knee, but in my upper calf. The doctor had never seen one like mine. It presses on the artery and vein in my left leg causing moderate pain when walking fast and great pain after jogging only a few hundred yards. This cyst is keeping me from doing the cardio exercise I would like to do. Surgery or drainage?

Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
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