Skip to content

Baker’s Cyst

First off, please visit the general knee pain page for some info!

Now, back to the Baker’s Cyst

What it is:

A bursa is a fluid filled sac near a joint. A cyst is a membranous sac containing fluid. On the knee, you have a medial and lateral meniscus, which help absorb shock. The bursa help protect the the menisci. A bursa can start to bother you if for some reason it fills up with too much fluid and swell.

What causes a Baker’s cyst?

According to the Mayo Clinic, “A Baker’s cyst, also called a popliteal (pop-luh-TEE-ul) cyst, 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 can lead to a Baker’s cyst.” Medical News Today suggest it can also be a result of gout or arthritis. In runners, it could be an overuse injury or from a meniscal tear.

What’s it feel like?

According to, you may experience:

  1. A stiff or tight feeling behind the knee, lower thigh, or upper calf.
  2. Noticeable swelling behind the knee.
  3. Discomfort or pain most often when the knee is fully bent or straightened.
  4. Discomfort if the area of swelling is touched by a chair while sitting.

How to Treat suggestions that “The discomfort of a Baker’s cyst can be treated with a compressive knee brace, anti-inflammatory medications. In some circumstances, the cyst can be drained of fluid. Sometimes cortisone injections are used to reduce inflammation in the knee. Rarely, but sometimes, surgery is needed to remove the cyst. However, surveillance of the cyst is typically safe as they typically do not lead to long-term complications if left alone.”