Knee & Shoulder Surgeon - Orthopedic Specialist
Knee & Shoulder Surgeon - Dr. Amyn Rajani
M.S Orth (Gold Medallist), D-Orth, MBBS
Knee and Shoulder Surgeon
(Arthroscopy & Joint Reconstruction)
Orthopaedic Arthroscopy Knee & Shoulder Clinic (OAKS)

Popliteal Cyst

» Introduction :
baker cyst A cyst is a collection of fluid in a small sac. A popliteal cyst is a soft, often painless bump seen in the popliteal area (back side of the knee). It is also referred to as a bakers cyst. The weakening of the joint capsule in the damaged area can cause the small sac of fluid to form. It can increase in size over a period of time.

» Causes :
  • A tear in the meniscal cartilage of the knee 
  • Knee arthritis (in older adults)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Other knee problems

» Clinical Features :
Swelling behind the knee, discomfort or minimal pain
Special tests :
  • Since it communicated with the knee joint, it can be pushed back into the knee during flexion
  • Transillumination, or shining a light through the cyst, can show that the growth is fluid filled

  • » Investigations :
    MRI of the knee will confirm the diagnosis but it is rarely indicated. 

    » Treatment :
    Usually no treatment is needed except observation.
    If the cyst is painful, the goal of treatment is to correct the problem, such as arthritis or a meniscus tear. Sometimes, a cyst can be drained (aspirated) or, in rare cases, removed with surgery if it becomes very large or causes symptoms.

    » Complications :
    Rupture & increase in size.

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