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Baker’s Cyst: Cause, Symptoms & Care Option.

Get the right Baker’s Cyst care in Malaysia today!

Illustrating of Baker's Cyst location in back of the knee.

Information About A Baker’s Cyst

Knee Cyst or Baker’s cyst is named after the surgeon who first described this condition, Dr. William Morrant Baker. The other common name for a Baker’s cyst is the “Popliteal cyst” (Knee Cyst). A popliteal cyst or a knee cyst is diagnosis means there is swelling present in the synovial lining of the semimembranosus bursa or one of the other bursae in the back of your knee. However, Baker’s cyst is not a real cyst as it maintains communication with the synovial sac of the knee joint.

A Baker’s cyst is a benign swelling. In other words, they are not dangerous. But, they can cause varying degrees of tenderness, pain, and swelling. The pain from a Baker’s can be localized at the back of your knee, or run down the leg (Calves). Let’s take a closer look at the knee joint, synovial membrane, and bursae to understand the cause of a popliteal cyst (Baker’s cyst).

Illustration of a severe baker's cyst. Synovial Membrane, Synovial Fluids, Bursae & Their Impact On The Baker’s Cyst

Joints are encapsulated with a synovial membrane containing synovial fluids. The synovial fluids provide lubrication (feeds the joint) and protection by absorbing shocks. For example, the synovial fluids protect the knee from continuous impact while running. The hyaluronic acid, lubricin, protenases, and collagenases of synovial fluids provide protection and lubrication. Also, these compounds are essential ingredients for the repair of damaged, stressed, and irritated tissues of a joint. Injury or repetitive traumatic episodes of a weak degenerated or arthritic knee can quickly lead to an inflamed synovial membrane of the semimembranosus bursa (Baker’s cyst).


Illustration showing Synovial fluids leaking causing a baker's cyst

Every joint in the body has bursae, which is the plural term for bursa. A bursa is a thin sac, filled with small amounts of fluids to protect opposing surfaces from injury or irritation. The lining of each bursa contains synovial fluids. Therefore, the clinical importance of synovial fluids, bursa, and the synovial membrane is vital to successful clinical outcomes. There are two types of bursae, communicating and non-communicating. The communicating bursae are those situated next to or near to a joint. A communicating bursa continually receives synovial fluids from the nearby joint through the synovial sac. The semimembranosus bursa is a communicating bursa.


Illustration showing Baker's Cyst causing knee pain ruptured baker's cyst recovery timePreexisting knee issues such as arthritis, meniscal tears, and degenerations are conditions that can lead to the overproduction of synovial fluids. Communicating bursa such as the semimembranosus bursa is prone to be excessively filled with synovial fluids, leading to Baker’s cyst, knee cyst, or popliteal cyst.

What Are The Common Signs & Symptoms Of Knee Cysts?

The Popliteal cyst or Baker’s cyst occurs in conjunction with other knee joint problems, such as a tear in the cartilage, ACL tears, PCL tears, meniscal tears, and arthritis. The primary reason behind the popliteal cyst is damage or irritation to weak or damaged knee joints. However, it can occur without a pre-existing knee condition, especially when subject to an acute traumatic event, such as those experienced in vigorous activities similar to sports injuries. There may be times in which a cyst does not result in knee pain, and you may not even know you have it. If signs and symptoms are problematic, however, they could include the following:

  • A lump or swelling located behind the knee
  • Locking of the knee joint
  • Clicking or buckling of the knee
  • Pain in legs or knee or discomfort when standing for extended periods
  • Stiffness and difficulty in flexing the knee fully
  • Knee pain and leg pain

The most common symptom of a cyst is swelling and discomfort, but they are often relieved with proper treatment of the underlying problem. Complications occur when Baker’s cyst ruptures or bursts. Yes, a knee cyst can burst or rupture when you neglect your knees or if you do not limit the aggravating activities. A ruptured Baker’s cyst can cause significant pain of sharp quality in which the back of the knee joint becomes red or feels as though water is running down your leg.

Can Surgery Repair Cyst In The Knee?

Earlier, we mentioned that Baker’s cyst is the result of damage or irritation of a new knee condition. In other words, the knee exercises were terrible, to begin with, and an injury aggravated the joint to a point where the joint produced an excessive amount of synovial fluids. Surgery or other invasive methods such as aspiration of the synovial fluids or cortisone injections are useless in the long-term. In other words, surgery, aspiration of fluids, or injections into the knees will not fix the root cause of Baker’s cyst. And as such, most sufferers are subjected to repeated invasive procedures with no end in sight.

The best advice we can provide is to visit our office and discover clinical non-surgical treatment of knees and Baker’s cyst that targeted the root-cause. Our clinical teams of chiropractors and physiotherapists have the skills, expertise, and experience to accurately diagnose Baker’s cyst as well as the root causes. The only way to be free of a Baker’s cyst is a thorough clinical non-invasive treatment program that targeted the cyst and all its associated disorders. To summarize, avoid surgery and injections. Surgery or injections can worsen the popliteal cyst (knee cyst)!

What Is The Best Treatment For Knee Pain Including Baker’s cyst?

It is probably not surgery or injections – if you are told that a cortisone injection or a Baker’s cyst surgery can fix you, get away from them fast. Contrary to conventional belief, Baker’s cyst will not entirely go away without targeted treatments. You may experience slight improvements if you avoid aggravating activates. But, you need to have the root cause of a Baker’s cyst treated before it can fully recover. You can call our clinical team of physiotherapists and chiropractors, and they can offer therapy options to help with Baker’s cyst and leg pain.

Chiropractic Specialty Cener® has over 13-years of experience with successful knee treatment in Malaysia. Our Director, Dr. Yama Zafer (Doctor of Chiropractic), has over 23-years of clinical excellence in chiropractic and physiotherapy. Dr. Yama developed our knee treatment protocols in 208. Since., we have treated thousands of Malaysians. We have helped patients avoid surgery and also helped many that have previous knee surgeries. If you want the best non-surgical treatment for knee pain, knee injuries, and Baker’s cyst, contact our main center at 03 2093 1000. We have several centers throughout Malaysia to help with your nonsurgical recovery from a Baker’s cyst.