Swelling Behind The Knee: Bakers Cyst
Being diagnosed with a Bakers Cyst is not as dangerous as it may sound. In other words when we hear the words cyst our minds begin to run with some apprehension regarding our health. A Baker cysts is not something that grows and spreads throughout the body but, is synonymous with swelling behind your knee. Though it can develop with children, you see these cysts more in the adult population.
The development of a Bakers Cyst is the aftermath of a breakdown inside the knee brought by a previous injury such as a meniscus tear or arthritic changes inside the knee capsule for instance. The swelling that is produced behind your knee is an accumulation of synovial fluid which is produced by bursae sacs that encase your knee, to help with smoother movement and reducing friction inside your knee.
Accurate diagnosis can be completed by your physician through an ultrasound or MRI. Though Baker’s cysts are generally pain free they can in extreme cases rupture and cause an increase in pain and swelling in the back of your knee and calf. The pain can mimic thrombophlebitis or a deep vein thrombosis.
Generally these cysts do not require treatment in themselves however, to rid your body of this problem your doctor will need to address the root cause of the cyst. This will require that further testing will need to be done on the knee such as an MRI or Xray to find out what exactly is causing the release of extra synovial fluid.
Treatment can consist of several different avenues if living with the Baker’s cyst is the best available option right now. The use of Ice also known as cryotherapy can be effective at times in controlling pain if needed. Leave the ice on the affected area for 15-25 minutes with the ice wrapped in a protective cloth to avoid skin damage.
Heat can also be used. You can apply a heating pad underneath your knee or wrap your entire knee in a heating pad and leave it on a low setting for 15-25 minutes. As with any type of pain modality, please follow instructions regarding safe application.
Medication choices that you have that can be bought over the counter include Tylenol or, medications with added anti-inflammatory ingredients such as ibuprofen or naproxen. Discuss this with your doctor to find out what is a safe alternative for you.
Ultimately to permanently remove the cyst, you will have to have the cause of it dealt with and repaired to avoid frequent relapses of swelling and possible pain.