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Baker’s Cyst

A baker’s cyst is a buildup of synovial fluid that forms behind knee joints. Baker’s cyst, also called a popliteal cyst, which is usually the result of a problem with your knee joint, such as arthritis or a cartilage tear. Both conditions can cause your knee to produce too much fluid, which may lead to a Baker’s cyst. Bakers Cyst usually causes swelling and pain in the back of the knee and may hinder knee movement. Baker’s cysts occur most often in adults between 55 and 70 and can occur in young children from 4 to 7 years old. One in five individuals who have experienced other knee problems may develop a baker’s cyst.

Normally, synovial fluid circulates throughout the knee and passes in and out of tissue pouches, called bursae. Your knee joint has a valve-like system that connects to the bursa on the back of the knee regulating the amount of synovial fluid moving in and out of the bursa. Sometimes the knee produces too much synovial fluid, such as when the joint is inflamed due either to one of several types of arthritis or to a knee injury, especially a cartilage tear. This damage or injury within the knee causes swelling, with the synovial fluid pumped from the knee to the fluid-filled sac, which the affected individual experiences as a baker’s cyst.

Symptoms of a Baker’s Cyst

Some of the symptoms that are associated with baker’s cyst are knee pain, tightness behind the knee, and lack of flexibility. The cysts are usually visible behind the knee and are generally soft and tender.

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