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Baker’s Cyst Surgery

The popliteal portion of the knee is in the back of the leg, the hollow between the tendons, muscles, bones and ligaments. When fluid is trapped in this area, it can create a sac or cyst. These types of formations are called popliteal or Baker’s cysts, which can cause knee pain and movement restriction. In severe cases, these popliteal cysts may need to be drained or removed for relief. Jonathan L. Glashow, MD orthopedic surgery and sports injury center provides Baker’s cyst surgery at our facility in Miami, FL.

What Causes a Popliteal Cyst?

Baker’s cysts can form without a direct cause, but they are usually due to an excess of fluid in the knee. This can be caused by a variety of knee conditions that trigger inflammation and excess production of knee synovial fluid, which can be compressed into the popliteal area, resulting in a sac of fluid. Some of the common underlying conditions that trigger a popliteal cyst include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Gout
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Meniscus or ligament tears
  • Cartilage damage

Baker’s cysts can be as tiny as a small pea or grow to be a couple centimeters wide. Not all popliteal cysts are painful, but if they become larger, they can restrict the range of motion in the knee.

Treatment for Baker’s Cyst

In many cases, treatment of the underlying knee condition can relieve symptoms associated with a popliteal cyst. Once the inflammation or irritation is relieved, less synovial fluid is made and the cyst may drain on its own. If the cyst does not go away or there is not an underlying condition to manage, it may be recommended to remove or drain the fluid from the sac with a needle. Baker’s cysts rarely require surgery, but arthroscopy may be used to relieve the underlying condition, such as a torn ligament or damaged cartilage.

If you have a painful Baker’s cyst in the back of your knee, treatment can provide relief. To schedule a popliteal cyst consultation with one of our knee specialists, contact us at Jonathan L. Glashow, MD in the Miami and Fort Lauderdale, FL, area.

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