Symptoms of a Baker's cyst

What are the symptoms of a Baker's cyst?

The symptoms of a Baker's cyst are primarily a palpable lump in the hollow of the knee.

This swelling can be shifted a little by its fluid filling and can itself be painful. Depending on the cause and nature of the underlying damage, this swelling occurs in different degrees within a short period of time.
Chronic inflammation within the Knee joint this leads to an increased pressure of the fluid within the joint capsule, to which the capsule yields at some point at the point of least resistance in the direction of the hollow of the knee.
Since most of the blood vessels and nerves supplying the lower leg run along the region of the hollow of the knee, a Baker's cyst can spread through pressure on it Symptoms to lead:

By pressing on annoy it can be below the knee down to the foot tingling in certain areas of the skin, numbness and loss of strength in the muscles. The irritation of the nerves damaged by the pressure can also lead to symptoms such as radiation of pain in the area of ​​the nerve course above the knee, which makes it difficult to determine the level of the cause in the case of a fairly small, inconspicuous Baker's cyst - here one easily suspects nerve damage in the area of hip or Lumbar spine.
With the appropriate pressure, blood vessels can even be compressed so much that the blood supply to the lower leg is restricted. Symptoms such as a cold, pale lower leg, as well as pain and increase in pain in the lower leg during muscle work would be the consequences. If the pressure is high enough, the Baker's cyst can also tear, whereupon the contents are distributed between the muscle compartments, which can lead to a compartment syndrome there with endangering of the leg.

Appointment with a knee specialist?

I would be happy to advise you!

Who am I?
My name is dr. Nicolas Gumpert. I am a specialist in orthopedics and the founder of .
Various television programs and print media report regularly about my work. On HR television you can see me every 6 weeks live on "Hallo Hessen".
But now enough is indicated ;-)

The knee joint is one of the joints with the greatest stress.

Therefore, the treatment of the knee joint (e.g. meniscus tear, cartilage damage, cruciate ligament damage, runner's knee, etc.) requires a lot of experience.
I treat a wide variety of knee diseases in a conservative way.
The aim of any treatment is treatment without surgery.

Which therapy achieves the best results in the long term can only be determined after looking at all of the information (Examination, X-ray, ultrasound, MRI, etc.) be assessed.

You can find me in:

  • Lumedis - your orthopedic surgeon
    Kaiserstrasse 14
    60311 Frankfurt am Main

Directly to the online appointment arrangement
Unfortunately, it is currently only possible to make an appointment with private health insurers. I hope for your understanding!
Further information about myself can be found at Dr. Nicolas Gumpert


Typical symptoms of a Baker's cyst are recurring pain in the knee joint. This pain is mainly localized in the hollow of the knee and in the upper part of the calf. In addition, it can be observed in those affected that the symptoms typical of a Baker's cyst are stress-dependent and temporarily subside completely at rest.
The pain that occurs when a Baker's cyst is present is therefore highly dependent on the activity level of the patient concerned. The more active a person is, the more pronounced the pain is. Especially immediately after physical activity, the intensity of the pain can increase many times over.

This rule also applies to other typical symptoms of Baker's cyst. Since not every Baker's cyst requires surgical treatment, the main focus is on relieving pain and reducing local swelling. In the case of a Baker's cyst that does not cause any symptoms, treatment can often be dispensed with entirely.

The typical symptoms of this disease, i.e. local swelling and stress-dependent pain, can in many cases be treated by giving an anti-inflammatory drug. In this context, drugs that have the active ingredients ibuprofen or diclofenac are particularly suitable.
In cases where only the pain needs to be treated, taking paracetamol can also be useful. In contrast to the pain relievers just mentioned, however, paracetamol has no anti-inflammatory properties.
The use of drugs containing cortisone is controversial due to the numerous side effects. However, its use may be justified in patients who develop particularly pronounced symptoms as a result of the Baker's cyst. In these cases, the cortisone preparation is injected directly into the knee to relieve the pain and swelling. In this way, the local inflammatory processes can be effectively contained and treated.

Read more on this topic:

  • Pain in the calf and the hollow of the knee
  • Acute knee pain - that may be behind it

Burst baker's cyst

In general, it can be assumed that a burst Baker's cyst is more likely to be rarity represents. If a Baker's cyst has burst, however, those affected often recognize this by the fact that the Symptoms the cyst increase significantly. In particular, the intensity of the pain perceived by the affected patient can increase many times over as soon as the Baker's cyst has burst.

A Baker's cyst that has burst can cause knee joint fluid (so-called synovial fluid) passes into the surrounding tissue. Because of this, the symptoms of Baker's cyst can spread from the hollow of the knee into the Thigh and / or lower leg spread.
In addition, it comes from a Baker's cyst that has burst pronounced swelling in the surrounding tissue. Some patients report the feeling cold water walk down the lower leg, having felt it. In addition, in the area of ​​the epidermis local redness occur.

In the presence of a Baker's cyst, the common Range of motion of the affected knee be severely restricted. This phenomenon can be exacerbated with a Baker's cyst that has burst. People who have Baker's cysts and suddenly notice local redness and swelling in the calf area should urgently timely one Specialist seek out. In such cases it is suspected that the Baker's cyst has burst.

Knee osteoarthritis

The development of a Baker's cyst, which can be accompanied by pronounced symptoms, is usually provoked by a disease within the knee joint. The development of a Baker's cyst can often be observed, especially in patients with knee osteoarthritis.
In the case of knee osteoarthritis (Synonym: osteoarthritis of the knee; Gonarthrosis) is a joint disease caused by wear and tear. In the narrower sense, knee osteoarthritis causes excessive wear and tear on the cartilage parts of the knee joint.

Almost every person over the age of 65 has at least mild signs of osteoarthritis. However, under certain conditions, young people can already show pronounced signs of wear and tear. This can especially be observed in people who frequently put excessive strain on their knee joints. Knee osteoarthritis, which can be associated with the development of a Baker's cyst, is typically illustrated by pain that is particularly pronounced in the morning hours. In addition, the symptoms increase significantly in intensity under exertion, for example when climbing stairs.

Read more on this topic at: Knee osteoarthritis