About Baker’s Cyst

What is it and what are your treatment options?
Anchorage: (907) 562-2277
Wasilla: (907) 357-2267
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What is Baker’s Cyst?

The knee is the largest joint in the body, and one of the most easily injured. It is made up of four main structures: bones, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons. Three bones meet to form your knee joint: your thigh bone (femur), shinbone (tibia), and kneecap (patella). A Baker’s cyst or popliteal cyst is a small benign (non-cancerous) cyst on the back of the knee. A Baker’s cyst forms when knee joint-lubricating synovial fluid builds up in the back of the knee.

Common Causes:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Knee inflammation
  • Knee injuries

Some patients may have a Baker’s cyst and not know because it is asymptomatic. Symptomatic Baker’s cysts may cause the following

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness and decreased range of motion

Symptoms are usually localized to the back of the knee. In many cases, the cyst is easily palpable. When a cyst causes symptoms in the calf, most notably sharp pain, swelling, and redness, medical attention should be sought as soon as possible.

Orthopedic Physicians Alaska (OPA) knee specialists perform a physical examination to diagnosis a Baker’s cyst. In some cases, an ultrasound may be ordered and analyzed to rule out a blood clot. Once a formal diagnosis is made, a treatment plan is prescribed.

Common Treatments:

Many Baker’s cysts will disappear on their own. Others may require treatment. Nonsurgical treatment options treat Baker’s cysts:

Corticosteroid Injections

Will quickly decrease inflammation, swelling, and pain

Physical Therapy

Stretches and strengthens the knee to regain function

Needle Aspiration

Removes built-up knee fluid

RICE Method

Rest, ice, compression, and elevation after prolonged standing and physical activity decreases the chances of fluid buildup

At OPA, our Board-Certified and Fellowship Trained Knee Specialists are experts in diagnosing and treating baker’s cysts.

If you are experiencing symptoms of a baker’s cyst, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.

Schedule An Appointment

To receive an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan, please make an appointment with one of our Orthopedic Team Specialists at our offices conveniently located in Anchorage and Wasilla, AK.
Anchorage: (907) 562-2277
Wasilla: (907) 357-2267

OPA Knee Team

(click a provider to view profile)

Deryk Anderson, DO

Orthopedic Specialist

Tucker Drury, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Adam Ellison, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Robert Hall, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Christopher Manion, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Jeff Moore, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Eli Powell, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Michael Reyes, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Greg Schweiger, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Our Mission

To provide the finest orthopedic surgery and musculoskeletal care in North America, offering general and specialized adult care to all Alaskans and visitors.


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