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Baker’s Cyst

Baker’s Cyst

BAKER’S CYST

WHO?

  • Cyclists/ runners
  • Older adults
  • Sports requiring lots of running/ turning/ jumping etc.

WHAT?

Baker’s cyst is a condition whereby there is swelling at the back of the knee joint that accumulates within the joint space and bursa. It may also be referred to as a popliteal cyst, in reference to its location at the back of the knee, which is medically known as the popliteal fossa. The fluid-filled cyst can result in pain or discomfort at the back of the knee with during normal day to day activities that may increase with activity or overuse of the knee. Patients often complain of a feeling of “fullness” at the back of the knee, particularly with activities that require the knee to be in and fully flexed or extended position.

WHEN ?

A Baker’s cyst typically occurs as a result of both chronic degenerative changes to the knee or acute injuries to the knee joint, such as meniscal tears and strains. Patients can experience a range of symptoms, in minor cases there may be no pain and no palpable lump at the back of the knee. In more severe cases patients may be able to feel a large lump, and suffer significant pain or tightness at the back of the knee joint. This sensation of fullness or tightness can sometimes even extend further down the leg into the calf.

HOW?

As a result of chronic degenerative changes to the structures within the knee, such as knee OA, wear and tear occurs over time. This leads to irritation of the structures within the joint capsule, thus resulting in swelling. Similarly, following an acute injury, such as a fall or meniscal tear, the knee will undergo an acute inflammatory response which results in inflammation within in the knee joint. In both the chronic or acute scenario, there is an accumulation of inflammation and swelling within the joint capsule and/ or the bursa, resulting in a Baker’s cyst.

MANAGEMENT?

Treatment and management of a Baker’s cyst normally requires any underlying causes to be addressed. Although in some cases a cyst may develop for no reason and require no treatment either.  Your physiotherapist at our Move Forward Kinross Physiotherapy clinic will assess the whole lower limb, as well as the hip and low back in order to determine the exact cause of your knee pain. Following this assessment, you will be provided with a detailed outline of your own individualized treatment management plan. Your treatment may include a combination of the following;
• Rest
• Ice/ Heat
• Brace/ off-load taping
• Soft tissue massage
• Mobilizations
• Dry needling
• Stretching & strengthening exercises, which can be performed within the gym located at Move Forward Hillarys Physiotherapy
• Activity and exercise modifications to improve lower limb mechanics and posture, which can be performed within our pilates studio at Move Forward Quinns Physiotherapy or Jindalee Physiotherapy

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