What is Popliteal Cysts?
Popliteal Cysts are fluid clumps that form a lump behind the knee, and may worsen when the patient is actively moving or there is emphasis on his knee. This disease often affects children aged 4-7 years and adults aged 35-70 years. However, adults are usually more susceptible to this disease than children.
Baker cysts are generally caused by excessive lubricant lumps in the knee tissue called synovial. This is triggered by a number of knee problems, such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, cartilage stretching, injury during exercise, joint inflammation, and other knee problems. In addition to certain triggers, Baker’s cysts can also occur suddenly, especially in children and adolescents. This is called an idiopathic or primary Baker cyst.
The size of the cyst in the patient’s knee may vary, depending on the severity of the condition experienced.
Symptoms of Baker Cyst
Not all patients experience symptoms before being diagnosed with Baker cysts, especially small ones. If the size of your cyst is large enough, the symptoms that may be felt are:
- Bengak behind the knee or foot that will get sore when standing position.
- Feeling pain in the knee
- Feel stiff or hard to stretch the knee
- Bruises, especially when the synovial fluid starts to leak
- Feel a sensation like a knock on the knee
These symptoms usually worsen when the patient is active or standing for a long time. Immediately see a doctor to be handled properly.
Diagnosis of Baker Cyst
In the early stages, the doctor will usually perform a physical test and ask about the medical history, when symptoms are felt, the severity of the symptoms, the pain experienced, and the trigger for symptoms.
If a suspected Baker cyst is suspected, your doctor may suggest a series of radiological tests, such as X-rays, MRI scans, and ultrasound to see the condition of the knee deeper and exclude other possible diagnoses. Currently, ultrasound is the primary choice for diagnosing Baker’s cyst disease.
Treatment of Baker Cysts
Generally, Baker’s cyst disease can recover by itself. However, if the size and condition of the cyst is severe enough, your doctor may recommend treatment by:
- Drugs. Your doctor may prescribe medications to relieve symptoms, such as injecting corticosteroids for knee inflammation or nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for swelling. Pain relief medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin, acetaminophen (paracetamol) can also be purchased independently.
- Synovial fluid aspiration. If the levels of the synoval fluid are disturbing enough, your doctor may suggest an aspiration action to remove the fluid from the knee joint. This action involves the use of needles combined with ultrasound.
- Operation. If there is tension or tearing of the cartilage caused by the production of excessive synovial fluid, your doctor may suggest surgery to correct it. Advice for open surgery is also usually given to remove the cyst from the knee if other treatments are unsuccessful.
- Physiotherapy. For people with difficulty walking, doctors will usually suggest physiotherapy combined with other treatment methods to flex and strengthen the knee joint.
In addition to treatment from a physician, the patient can relieve pain by doing physical therapy at home, such as compressing it with ice bags for 10-30 minutes, raising the legs, or tying them with an elastic cloth. Tools such as crutches can also be used to avoid pressure on the knee when walking. Rest your feet during the treatment period to fully effect the effect.
Complications of Baker Cysts
Although rare, Baker’s cyst can cause complications if not treated properly. One of the biggest complications is the rupture of cysts behind the knee experienced by 5-10 percent of patients. This condition results in synovial fluid leaking into the calf and triggering swelling. This symptom is similar to deep vein thrombosis.
Immediately see a doctor or visit the nearest hospital if you feel any of these symptoms.
Prevention of Baker Cysts
Until now there has been no special way that can be done to prevent Baker cyst disease. Prevention can only be done after symptoms appear to avoid complications or the growth of new cysts after recovery, such as:
- Reduces physical activity. To relieve pain and irritation of the knee joint, it is advisable to reduce physical activity and look for other alternatives so as not to burden the knee. Ask your doctor about the right activity according to your condition.
- Maintain weight. Keep your weight always at a healthy level so that your knees do not get excess pressure.
In order for prevention can be done optimally, always follow the doctor’s advice and immediately meet them if you feel something unusual.