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Baker’s Cyst

A hard fluid filled lump behind the knee.  A Baker’s cyst occurs as a result of increased pressure in the knee joint due to build up of fluid.  Such a build up is a feature of disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis.  The cyst is formed by a backward ballooning-out of the synovial membrane covering the knee joint.

Many Baker’s cyst are painless, and some disappear spontaneously, sometimes after many months.  Occasionally, a cyst may rupture, causing fluid to seep down between the layers of the calf muscles.  This can result in pain and swelling in the calf that may mimic a deep vein thrombosis. 

Diagnosis of a Baker’s cyst is confirmed by ultrasound scanning. Treatment is rarely needed but in a few cases surgery may be performed.

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