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Popliteal (Baker) Cyst

Shane L. Larson, MD and Christopher Morrow, PA-C Reviewed 06/2020
 


BASICS

DESCRIPTION

  • A fluid-filled synovial sac arising in the popliteal fossa as a distention of (typically) the gastrocnemial-semimembranous bursa; not a true cyst

  • Can be unilateral or bilateral

  • Most fr...

DIAGNOSIS

HISTORY

  • Painless mass arising in the popliteal fossa

  • Most cysts are asymptomatic.

  • Dull ache if cyst is large enough to impede joint motion—typically a restriction of flexion

  • Painful if cyst rupt...

TREATMENT

GENERAL MEASURES

  • No treatment if asymptomatic

  • Treat any associated underlying conditions.

  • Compressive wrap or sleeve for comfort

MEDICATION

If etiology is identified from cellular fluid examinati...

ONGOING CARE

PROGNOSIS

  • Variable; many cysts remain asymptomatic.

  • Some cysts resolve with treatment of underlying etiology (e.g., gout, rheumatoid arthritis).

  • In children, most cysts resolve without treat...

REFERENCES

1
Chatzopoulos D, Moralidis E, Markou P, et al. Baker’s cysts in knees with chronic osteoarthritic pain: a clinical, ultrasonographic, radiographic and scintigraphic evaluation. Rheumatol In...

ADDITIONAL READING

  • Akagi R, Saisu T, Segawa Y, et al. Natural history of popliteal cysts in the pediatric population. J Pediatr Orthop.  2013;33(3):262–268.

  • Akgul O, Guldeste Z, Ozgocmen S. The re...

CODES

ICD10

  • M71.20 Synovial cyst of popliteal space [Baker], unspecified knee

  • M71.21 Synovial cyst of popliteal space [Baker], right knee

  • M71.22 Synovial cyst of popliteal space [Baker], left knee

ICD9

  • 727...

CLINICAL PEARLS

  • Baker cyst: A fluid-filled synovial sac arising in the popliteal fossa as a distention of (typically) the gastrocnemial-semimembranous bursa; not a true cyst; often secondary to menisc...

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