The knee joint relies on lubricating fluid to reduce friction between the moving components. In some cases, too much joint fluid can be created, leading to pouches or lumps of fluid accumulating inside the knee joint. A popliteal, or Baker’s cyst, is a lump of joint fluid that can occur in the knee, impacting the function. Dr. Steven Struhl at Shoulders & Knees offers Baker’s cyst surgery to improve knee function at our clinics in NYC and Westchester.

A Baker’s cyst is usually caused by another joint condition. Inflammation of the knee joint from osteoarthritis, gout or an injury is usually the catalyst for the forming of a Baker’s cyst. The excess synovial fluid can push against the knee joint capsule lining, creating a sac-like protrusion at the back of the knee. An injury to the knee can damage the lining, which may allow the cyst to form. The Baker’s cyst can often be felt as a soft lump in the hollow behind the knee, between the two hamstring tendons. Symptoms can include knee aching, pain, weakness or instability.

Removing a Popliteal Cyst

Many Baker’s or popliteal cysts may be removed without surgery. The excess fluid can be removed from the cyst with a syringe in an office visit. However, the sac can refill with fluid. In some cases, surgery is recommended. Baker’s cyst surgery is usually performed as a minimally invasive, outpatient surgery to remove the cyst and repair the knee capsule or synovial lining. Even with surgical removal, Baker’s cysts can reoccur if the underlying cause of the cyst is not controlled.

Dr. Struhl offers effective treatment for painful knee conditions, including Baker’s cyst surgery. Dr. Struhl can address both the cyst and the underlying injury or condition that caused the cyst to form. To learn more about treatment for Baker’s cysts, contact our clinic to schedule a consultation.