Baker's Cysts

Did you ever feel a lump or fullness in the backside of your leg behind the knee? This might be what is called a Baker’s cyst or popliteal synovial cyst. A Baker’s cyst is an accumulation of joint fluid that creates a fluid-filled sac behind the knee. The cyst can gradually expand, due to a one-way valve effect, and lead to discomfort depending on how large the cyst becomes. Baker’s cysts are common in adults but tend to be most prevalent in patients who have a history of joint disorders, particularly osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Additionally, about 1/3 of patients develop these popliteal cysts from trauma, with medial meniscal tears being the most common injury.

Although most Baker’s cysts are small and asymptomatic, they can present with the following symptoms: posterior knee pain, knee stiffness, increased pain with prolonged standing and pain with hyperflexion of the knee. Complications related to neurovascular compromise can occur if the cyst becomes enlarged (usually larger than 5cm), dissects, and/or ruptures. Therefore, it is important to get evaluated by a medical provider. Dr. Carfagno and his highly experienced staff at Scottsdale Sports Medicine Institute are here to provide you with a thorough evaluation. Call today to schedule an appointment: 480-664-4615. #bakerscyst #poplitealcyst #kneepain #osteoarthritis #arthritis #SSMI #DrCarfagno #sportsmedicine


Brazier, B. G., Sudekum, S. A., DeVito P. M., and Dodds, J. A. (2018). Arthroscopic Treatment of Popliteal Cysts. Arthrosc Tech 7(11), e1109-e1114. doi: 10.1016/j.eats.2018.07.006