Baker’s cysts are fluid-filled lumps or sacs that form behind your knee. It is usually a consequence of arthritis or a knee injury. You may not experience any symptoms and may not even know you have one until it is seen while investigating other knee problems. For some people, the pain can vary from mild discomfort to severe pain and rupture of the cyst.
Causes of a Baker’s Cyst
Baker’s Cysts are the result of joint damage that causes swelling in the knee. These include:
- Meniscus tear or ligament tear
Symptoms of a Baker’s Cyst
- A fluid-filled lump behind the knee
- Stiffness in the knee
- Limited range of motion and ability to bend the knee
- Swelling of the knee and/or leg
Pain can vary from person to person. The pain could be from the injury itself that caused the cyst, but not the lump itself. Any strain can cause the lump or the knee to swell in size. This swelling can increase your pain and limit knee movement.
It’s important to note that sometimes a Baker’s Cyst can cause swelling and redness in your lower leg that can be similar to the symptoms of a blood clot. This is an emergency situation. If in doubt attend to a healthcare provider immediately to rule out a blood clot.
Treatment for Baker’s Cyst
When symptoms appear and a blood clot has been ruled out by a health care provider, symptoms can be managed at home with the following self-care:
- Take NSAIDs such as Nurofen, to reduce swelling and pain in the knee.
- Place an ice pack wrapped in a tea towel on the affected area for 10-20 minutes to reduce swelling.
- Elevate and rest your knee joint.
- Use compression bandages to support your knee joint.
If symptoms still persist after self-care treatments, see your GP for further options. One option is to inject corticosteroid medication directly into the affected knee to help reduce the swelling and inflammation.
Should the cyst rupture, fluid will leak down into your calf. As a result, it will cause sharp pain in your calf, which will become red, swollen, and tight. Again, consult a healthcare provider to rule out a blood clot.
The fluid will gradually be reabsorbed into the body within a few weeks. The recommended treatment is rest and elevation.
In some cases, it may be possible to drain a Baker’s Cyst. However, chronic cysts may not be possible to drain as they’re made of jelly. Surgical removal is not as easy as these types of cysts do not have a lining. Your knee joint may need to be surgically repaired if significantly injured.
Chiro & Sports Med
Our chiropractors at Chiro & Sports Med are committed to providing chiropractic solutions to address your unique needs. Whether you are experiencing an irritated nerve, bulging disc, back pain, neck pain, knee pain, headaches, or even muscular tightness and tension. You may be searching for pain relief after an accident or experiencing an injury. Our mission is to help reduce or eliminate pain and to prevent future problems and injury. Above all, we are here to improve your quality of life, well-being, and ability to live an active healthy lifestyle.