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5 Things Individuals Must Know About Bakers Cysts

A Baker’s cyst, which is also referred to as a popliteal cyst, is a fluid-filled sac which appears in the back of the knee. It is one which can cause a great deal of trouble for an individual if it remains there for a long time. Although cysts of this type are non-cancerous, they are bothersome and can cause other problems as well. For this reason, there are 5 things which individuals should know with regard to the Baker’s cyst.

The Causes behind a Baker’s Cyst

Baker’s cysts usually result when there is an underlying problem already present within the joint of the knee. Some causes of a Baker’s cyst may include injury to the knee, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or effusion. Therefore, the cyst does not simply form out of thin air. There is usually another medical condition which causes the Baker’s cyst to take form.

Types of Individuals Affected by a Baker’s Cyst

The Baker’s cyst occurs in both men and women. Also, adults and children are affected by a cyst of this type as well. In fact, nearly ½ of all Baker’s cyst occurrences are in cases involving children. Baker’s cysts plaque older individuals as well due to their link to various types of arthritis. Individuals who play sports are more likely to have Baker’s cysts form as these types of cysts are also common in individuals who have had knee injuries.

How Diagnosis for Baker's Cyst Takes Place

Diagnosis of Baker’s cysts usually results when individuals discover a strange mass on the back portion of their knee. Once the mass is discovered, a doctor consultation is usually not far behind. Most of the time a physician can form a diagnosis simply by performing a physical examination on the patient. A check on the patient’s medical history is also pertinent to making a firm diagnosis with regard to a cyst of this type. This will usually take care of the diagnosis phase; however, in rare occurrences further testing is necessary with regard to the diagnosis of a Baker’s cyst. The doctor will perform further tests in order to rule out any other possibilities or to make sure that further damaging medical conditions are not present within the patient. Tests such as fluid withdrawal, x-rays, MRIs and ultrasounds may be necessary in order to come to a firm conclusion and rule out any other possibilities.

Forms of Treatment for Baker’s Cysts

Once the individual has been diagnosed with the Baker’s cyst medical condition, the next question on that individual’s mind most likely will be with regard to curing the problem. With regard to treatment, it is important that the patient knows that Baker’s cysts most often go away on their own and need no medical intervention in order to do so. However, there are certain cases where medical intervention is necessary in order to rid the individual of the Baker’s cyst once and for all. Some things which may call for medical intervention in the way of surgical procedures include increasing swelling, serious pain and possible rupture of the Baker’s cyst. If any of these conditions are a factor, the doctor may attempt to drain the cyst.

The draining procedure, known as aspiration, is where the doctor will use a needle to insert into the cyst and pull out fluid from the mass. The main problem with this type of procedure is that the cyst often recurs sometime thereafter. In this case, surgical options may be more appropriate. Should the individual need to permanently get rid of the cyst and/or have another concomitant medical condition taken care of along with the Baker’s cyst, an arthroscopic procedure might be necessary, especially if the cyst is quite large and causes the individual a great deal of pain.

Recovery and Aftermath of a Baker’s Cyst Removal Procedure

When an individual undergoes treatment for any sort of medical condition, side effects may be a factor. With regard to treatment of a Baker’s cyst, some side effects which may result include infection, stiffness and/or nerve injury to the area where the Baker’s cyst was treated. Depending upon what type of treatment procedure was performed, recovery time will vary. For example, an individual who has undergone aspiration will be up and about much faster than one who has had an arthroscopic procedure performed. The length of recovery time depends on a number of factors including age, intensity of treatment procedure, and any complications which may have resulted.

Once the individual has fully recovered from their Baker’s cyst removal procedure, one may wonder what they can do to prevent a cyst of this type from reappearing in the future. As Baker’s cysts may sometimes result due to physical activity, it is very important that individuals use flexibility and strengthening exercises to properly prepare their bodies for workouts. Even taking necessary precautions such as choosing the right pair of running shoes may make a world of difference when it comes to trying to prevent the recurrence of a Baker’s cyst.

Conclusion

Baker’s cysts are particularly troublesome for those individuals plagued with them. They interfere with one’s daily activities and may cause additional problems as well. However, before jumping into having a procedure performed in order to remove a Baker’s cyst, it is important to weigh the options regarding conservative treatment and surgery. As Baker’s cysts are ones which often go away on their own, it is crucial not to rule out completely waiting to see if the cyst disappears. This may save one a lot of time, money and painful surgeries simply by waiting for a bit. Although, if the Baker’s cyst is extremely painful and causes one a lot of hardship, surgery may be something to consider.

The aforementioned considerations are simply ones for individuals with Baker’s cysts to consider when looking into the cause behind cysts of this type and also include treatment options for individuals to ponder when looking for a solution.

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