Baker cysts are fluid-filled cysts that cause bulge and a feeling of tightness in the back of the knee. The pain may become worse when the knee is often moved, or knee is active.

Baker's Cyst - Lump Behind the Knee


Baker cyst, also called a popliteal cyst, is usually the result of problems with the knee joint, such as arthritis or a torn cartilage. Both of these conditions can cause the knee to produce too much fluid, which can lead to a Baker’s cyst.

Baker cysts can cause swelling and make it uncomfortable. Baker’s Cyst can be treated and usually relieve the symptoms once it’s treated.

Causes of Baker’s Cyst

Cartilage and tendons in the knee depends on the lubricating fluid called synovial fluid. The liquid movement of the knee can help to become more fluent and reduce friction between moving parts of the knee joint.

Synovial fluid circulating throughout the knee and through various networks (exchanges) around the knee. There is a valve system, like the one in between the knee joint and the bursa at the back of the knee (popliteal bursa). The valve regulates the amount of synovial fluid in and out from the bursa.

But sometimes the knee produces too much synovial fluid, so fluid buildup which can cause Baker’s Cyst. Such a condition can be caused by:

  1. Knee arthritis, as occurs in many types of arthritis
  2. Knee injury

Symptoms of Baker’s Cyst

In some cases, a Baker’s cyst causes no pain, and may not be realized.
Symptoms that can appear in a Baker’s cyst, among others:

  1. Swelling behind the knee, and sometimes on foot
  2. Knee pain
  3. Knee stiffness
  4. The emergence of swelling with a texture similar to a balloon filled with water

Treatment for Baker’s Cyst

Baker cysts often cause no symptoms and can heal itself. Doctors can also perform the treatment for the condition that is the underlying cause. If the cyst is very large and cause a lot of pain, the doctor may use the following treatment:

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can help to reduce pain and swelling. Gentle motion exercises and strengthening exercises for the muscles around the knee can also help to reduce the symptoms and maintaining function of the knee.

Drainage of the fluid (Aspiration)

The doctor may drain the fluid from the knee joint using a needle. This is called needle aspiration


Dr Kevin Yip may inject a corticosteroid medication, such as cortisone, to the knee to reduce inflammation. These drugs can relieve pain, but it does not always prevent a recurrence of the cyst.


Surgery may be recommended if the cyst is large and painful.

Need consultation for lump behind knee? Our Knee specialist, Dr. Kevin Yip, has more than 20 years experience. Be assured that you will be receiving professional treatments that suit your needs. Call us at (65) 66532628 or SMS at (65) 84998384

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