Conditions A-Z l DetailBaker's cyst
You don't have to be a baker to develop a baker's cyst, which is an accumulation of fluid behind the knee.
If the cyst is small it may remain unnoticed, particularly if it doesn't cause symptoms, and many Baker's cysts don't cause any at all. People become aware of the cyst when they notice that they have a bulge behind one knee that isn't there behind the other.
In most cases when touched, or prodded, the bulge doesn't feel sore, it just feels like a water-filled balloon. However, a Baker's cyst can cause symptoms and when this happens people experience pain around the back of the knee or a tightness behind the knee, particularly when they bend or straighten their knee joint.
A complication is that the cyst can rupture and fluid may leak down inside the leg causing a painless bruise to appear around the inner ankle, or it may mimic the symptoms of a deep vein thrombosis causing swelling and redness of the calf.
The commonest cause of damage that triggers the process is arthritis, usually osteoarthritis, but other types of knee injury, such as tears to the cartilage, may be responsible too. It's estimated that up to one in five people with existing knee problem is likely to develop a Baker's cyst.
Identifying a Baker's cyst is usually straightforward. Doctors will recognise this common problem and may well make use of scans just to confirm the diagnosis.
Often no specific treatment is necessary since in time the cyst may resolve and symptoms improve of their own accord. However, it's important to treat the underlying cause of the problem, for example arthritis, to try to prevent further development of the cyst and more symptoms. In fact, doing this often helps to relieve the swelling and discomfort being caused by the Baker's cyst.
If the cyst is large, or is causing troublesome symptoms such as pain, then aspiration of the fluid with a needle can help, although the cyst will often recur following this procedure.
A cortisone injection can help by reducing the amount of fluid produced and relieving painful inflammation. Surgery to remove the cyst and to repair any causative damage, for example a torn cartilage, can be performed if other measures have not solved the problem.
A better approach is to stimulate cartilage repair with Prolotherapy and herbal supplements. Here's why, Baker's cysts usually form in response to some kind of injury to the knee, which causes swelling and fluid accumulation in a sac, called a cyst. Draining the cyst removes the fluid, but doesn't repair or heal the damage to the cartilage of ligaments. Likewise, surgery to the knee to shave or remove damaged portions of the meniscus may actually weaken and deteriorate the meniscus further, and could lead to arthritis.
Prolotherapy, on the other hand, will stimulate the injured tissue, whether it's the ligaments or the meniscus, to repair itself. Once repaired, the knee joint becomes more stable, which means no more joint swelling. This in turn means no more accumulated fluid and an end to the baker's cyst!
The safest and most effective natural medicine treatment for repairing tendon, ligament and cartilage damage is Prolotherapy. In simple terms, Prolotherapy stimulates the body to repair painful areas. It does so by inducing a mild inflammatory reaction in the weakened ligaments and cartilage. Since the body heals by inflammation, Prolotherapy stimulates healing.
Prolotherapy offers the most curative results in treating chronic pain. It effectively eliminates pain because it attacks the source: the fibro-osseous junction, an area rich in sensory nerves. What's more, the tissue strengthening and pain relief stimulated by Prolotherapy is permanent!