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Andrew Lavender

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Baker's Cysts

What is a Baker’s cyst?

This is a swelling at the back of the knee that is associated with wear and tear / arthritis in the knee.


Investigations

Mr Lavender will examine your knee and listen to your description of your pain and problems. He may request:

  • X-ray to see how bad the arthritis / wear and tear is.
  • Scan of your knee to confirm that the swelling is a Baker’s Cyst.

Options

Baker’s Cysts rarely cause problems themselves and are very difficult to remove surgically on their own. They are therefore best left alone.

Injections / aspirations do not cure Baker’s Cysts.

Removing them surgically risks damage to several important arteries and nerves in your leg. There is also a high chance that they will come back. This is why it is not done.

If the arthritis / wear and tear is bad enough to require treating (usually with a Total Knee Replacement) then the Baker’s Cyst usually disappears at the time of surgery.


Complications

Very occasionally Baker’s Cysts burst. This gives a sharp pain in the calf and the leg swells up. It is important you get your GP to check that this is not a blood clot (Deep Vein Thrombosis – DVT) in your leg. The pain usually settles in a week or two.


Information Sheet

For more information or to gain a better understanding of the condition, download the free PDF below:

To download the Baker's Cyst information sheet, right click on the PDF and choose 'Save Link As...'

Baker's Cyst Information Sheet

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