Baker’s cyst, also known as popliteal cyst, develops at the back of the knee. It occurs when excess synovial fluid, present in the knee joint, is forced out of the area between the joint bones to the back of the knee, which is also called the popliteal area. The knee joint fluid is trapped in a sac at the back of the knee forming the Baker’s cyst.
Causes of Baker’s cyst
The synovial fluid present in our knee joints lubricates the knee bones and cartilages. This fluid is essential to reduce wear and tear of the knee joints. It reduces friction between the joint bones and maintains the mobility of the joint. The synovial fluid flows between the knee joint and the bursae, which are tissue pouches present in the knee area.
The circulation of the synovial fluid between the knee joints and the bursa present in the popliteal area is maintained by a valve. Inflammation of the knee joints, which might result from arthritis or tear of cartilage, increases production of the synovial fluid. The excess fluid fills the popliteal bursa making it swell like an inflated balloon, causing Baker’s cyst.
Baker’s cyst may develop from various factors. Arthritis is the primary cause of Baker’s cyst. Osteoarthritis and degenerative arthritis increase the risk of developing Baker’s cyst. Children with juvenile arthritis can also develop Baker’s cyst. Cartilage tear is one of the major causes of Baker’s cyst.
Baker Cyst symptoms
Baker’s cyst is rarely a serious condition. It sometimes goes unnoticed. Although, knee pain is a symptom of Baker’s cyst, but nonetheless, some Baker’s cyst patients hardly experience any pain.
The common symptoms of Baker’s cyst are swelling at the back of the knee and stiffness of the knee. In rare instances the cyst might burst, causing the synovial fluid to leak into the calf region of the leg. This causes extreme knee pain and redness and swelling of the calf muscle.
Baker’s cyst home remedies
Baker’s cyst could be easily cured by treating the arthritis or knee injuries, which are the underlying causes of the condition. If the cyst causes intense discomfort, the fluid present in the sac behind the knee may be drained with a needle. To reduce the pain, ice packs could be applied on the affected area. You should rest your knee as much as possible. Anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen can help to reduce the pain and inflammation.