Popliteal Cyst

A popliteal cyst, also known as a Baker's cyst, manifests as a bulging sac of synovial fluid behind the knee.

Causes of a Popliteal Cyst

The cyst can form as a result of the following conditions:

  • A tear in knee cartilage
  • Knee arthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Other knee conditions

Symptoms of a Popliteal Cyst

This condition can cause a host of symptoms including:

  • Joint stiffness
  • Joint pain
  • A feeling of tightness behind the knee

Diagnosis of a Popliteal Cyst

The diagnosis of a popliteal cyst usually requires a combination of the following tests:

  • Physical examination
  • Ultrasound
  • MRI

Treatment of a Popliteal Cyst

When it comes to treatment, popliteal cysts usually resolve on their own. If the cyst is large and painful, the following treatments may be used:

  • Draining the fluid from the cyst
  • Cyst removal surgery
  • Physical therapy
  • Rest
  • Medication
  • Surgery to repair torn cartilage

Left untreated a popliteal cyst may sometimes rupture, a painful and serious health complication.

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