Bakers cyst

by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR

Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.

Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

Bakers cyst is a condition where synovial fluid (fluid manufactured by the lining cells of the joint capsule) accumulates in the back part of the knee joint.

Continued accumulation leads to swelling and pain in the back of the knee.

The fluid may also dissect downward between the muscles of the calf.

The appearance may mimic that of deep vein thrombosis (blood clot).

Ultrasound may be needed to differentiate the two.

Various conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, crystal-induced arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, Reiter's disease, Lyme disease, and mechanical derangement of the knee may be associated with this problem..

Accumulation of synovial fluid occurs by a ball valve mechanism. Synovial fluid is forced from the front to the back of the knee and cannot flow back.

Treatment is directed at the underlying condition. Aspiration of the cyst using ultrasound needle guidance and injection with glucocorticoid may be beneficial. Also injection of steroid into the knee joint accompanied by rest, elevation of the leg, and ice will help. Sometimes both procedures are required if the cyst is very large. The key is to use ultrasound guidance for needle placement to ensure accuracy.

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