Cyst Behind Knee Causing Pain: Causes And Treatment

Cyst Behind Knee Causing Pain: Causes And Treatment


Bakers Cyst: A Possible Cause Of Back Of Knee Pain


Patients complaining of back of knee pain is not as common an occurrence as patients complaining of anterior knee pain. One of the potential causes of back of knee pain is the presence of a popliteal cyst, more commonly known as a Bakers cyst.

  • A Bakers cyst is the name used commonly for swelling in the back of the knee. The swelling is caused by a collection of synovial fluid being pumped inside the bursae at the back of the knee.
  • Synovial fluid is basically the joint fluid and bursae are sacs of fluid that can be found throughout the body existing to help cushion and reduce friction in the area.

Generally this swelling is in the gastrocnemiosemimembranosis bursa and can be felt or seen between the two heads of the calf muscle at the back of the knee, with the swelling being the easiest to visualize when in standing.

Cyst behind Knee Causing Paint


The main cause of Baker’s cyst is the overproduction of the synovial fluid which helps in lubricating the tendons and cartilages in the knee area.

There are also other factors that cause the condition including the following.
  • Pressure build-up in the knee area which causes the synovial fluid to bulge out at the back of the knee. This can be caused by too much exposure to strenuous activities along with obesity.
  • Arthritis of the knee which is commonly experienced by older patients. Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are some of the common types that attack the knee area.
  • Injury or trauma to the knee area can lead to effusion or fluid build-up which can trigger cyst development.
  • Torn cartilage. The menisci cartilages are usually the ones that are affected since these holds the knee joints.
  • Viral and bacterial infection can also cause retention of fluid within the area of the knee joint.
  • There have been reported cases wherein cysts develop in children without any known cause.

Cyst behind Knee Treatment


Treatment of the underlying cause can completely cure the cyst. Those that have arthritis should take prescribed medications along with those that have infections. Torn cartilage can be corrected through surgical procedures.

Patients should temporarily avoid any kind of activity that worsen the condition or add pressure to the knee joint.

Use of physiotherapy methods like the use of crutches and specialized exercises to maintain strength and mobility and the administration of ice packs on the affected area.

Cortisone injections

Draining the fluid by inserting a needle.

Surgery can be done to remove the cyst completely in severe cases.

If you have back of knee pain you suspect is from a Baker’s cysts then always seek medical advice as it is almost always a representation of some underlying knee condition that needs assessment and management.