Baker's Cyst - The Joint Injection Clinic

What is a Baker’s Cyst and How Can It Be Treated?

Knee steroid (cortisone) injection London

A Baker’s Cyst describes a swelling found in the back of the knee. It most frequently occurs as a result of degenerative change (wear and tear) within the knee joint and is therefore far more commonly seen in patients over 50 years of age. Woman and men are equally affected.

Swelling within the knee can cause a herniation or ‘outpouching’ of the knee joint lining into the soft tissues in the back of the knee. The fluid then travels freely between the knee joint and the cyst which can result in fluctuations in the size of the lump. Sometimes patients describe a sensation as if there is a “golf or tennis ball” in the back of the knee which can restrict movement and cause discomfort, particularly when bending the knee or undertaking squats, crouching or kneeling.

Sometimes the cyst can burst suddenly resulting in fluid tracking into the soft tissues and muscles at the top of the calf. This can be painful and mimic a deep vein thrombosis. Ultrasound can be valuable in helping to establish a diagnosis.

Treatment of a Baker’s cyst focuses on optimising rehabilitation for the knee, working on range of movement and trying to offload the knee by strengthening of the muscles around the knee.

A Baker’s cyst can be aspirated under ultrasound guidance where the doctor uses a wide bore needle to remove as much fluid as possible before considering an injection of steroid/cortisone or prolotherapy (usually with a concentrated glucose solution). A steroid/cortisone injection can be useful to reduce inflammation and prevent the fluid from rapidly reaccumulating. The aim of the prolotherapy solution is to act like a glue, sticking the surfaces of the cyst together after the fluid has been removed. After the procedure a compression bandage is applied.

Surgical options for a Bakers Cyst are fairly limited but can be considered if pain or swelling persists despite conservative measures and attempts at aspiration/injection.

If you would like to book a rapid-access appointment at either our Golders Green or Chelsea clinic locations then please call 0208 0046659, visit www.thejointinjectionclinic.com or email [email protected] for further information.