» Introduction :
A cyst is a collection of fluid in a small sac. A popliteal cyst is a soft, often painless bump seen in the popliteal area (back side of the knee). It is also referred to as a bakers cyst. The weakening of the joint capsule in the damaged area can cause the small sac of fluid to form. It can increase in size over a period of time.
» Causes :
- A tear in the meniscal cartilage of the knee
- Knee arthritis (in older adults)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Other knee problems
» Clinical Features :
Swelling behind the knee, discomfort or minimal pain
Special tests :
Since it communicated with the knee joint, it can be pushed back into the knee during flexion
Transillumination, or shining a light through the cyst, can show that the growth is fluid filled
» Investigations :
MRI of the knee will confirm the diagnosis but it is rarely indicated.
» Treatment :
Usually no treatment is needed except observation.
If the cyst is painful, the goal of treatment is to correct the problem, such as arthritis or a meniscus tear. Sometimes, a cyst can be drained (aspirated) or, in rare cases, removed with surgery if it becomes very large or causes symptoms.
» Complications :
Rupture & increase in size.