Baker’s Cyst: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
What is Baker’s Cyst?
Baker’s cyst refers to a lump or sac filled with fluid that appears behind the knee. This lump causes the area behind the knee to bulge and leads to a feeling of tightness. Baker’s cyst causes pain when you try to bend or flex the knee. Baker’s cyst is usually associated with cartilage tear or arthritis.
Symptoms of Baker’s Cyst
In order to treat Baker’s Cyst, it is imperative to understand the symptoms associated with Baker’s Cyst. Some of the main symptoms of Baker’s Cyst include:
- Stiffness or tightness behind the knee
- Severe pain in the knee
- Inflammation of swelling behind the knee
- Burning sensation in the knee
- Difficulty in stretching or flexing the knee
Causes of Baker’s Cyst
Once you observe the symptoms of Baker’s Cyst, it is important to investigate the causes behind it. Understanding the causes also majorly helps in finding the treatment options. Some of the main causes of Baker’s Cyst are
- Injury- Any injury cause directly to the knee can result in inflammation behind the knee and cause Baker’s Cyst.
- Arthritis- Arthritis is the main reason for Baker’s Cyst. Those suffering from knee arthritis are more prone to Baker’s Cyst.
Treatment for Baker’s Cyst
Treatment for Baker’s Cyst include both surgical and non-surgical options. Based on the severity the doctor decides to use surgical or non-surgical methods.
For decades now, doctors have relied on the RICE method for Baker’s Cyst. The RICE method involves Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. The RICE method is an easy method that can be performed at home.
- Rest your leg whenever possible
- Apply ice packs to the swollen joint area of the knee
- Use compression wraps on the affected area
- Keep the legs elevated while resting
Other non-surgical treatment for Baker’s Cyst include
- Taking the help of crutch while walking
- Taking anti-inflammatory medications
- Taking steroid injections for pain
- Avoiding strenuous activities that involve the legs
- Maintaining a healthy body weight
- Undergoing physical therapy.
Surgery is generally opted in severe cases and to fix the source of knee damage. Some of the surgical treatment for Baker’s Cyst include
- Fluid Draining: – Using a needle, the fluid from the cyst is drained out to reduce inflammation and pain.
- Knee Osteotomy:- Is osteotomy, the doctor cuts a part of the bone to correct and repair the damage caused in the knee. It is generally performed on those suffering from arthritis.
Baker’s cyst does not cause any long term damage. In mild cases, the symptoms disappear within a few weeks without treatment. Severe cases of Baker’s Cyst may need medications, or surgery. Following a few simple remedies at home and making a few lifestyle changes will help in better management of Baker’s Cyst.