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Baker’s Cyst (also called a Popliteal Cyst); a benign cyst filled with synovial fluid (the fluid found between joints) that results in a bulge at the back of the knee. A Baker’s Cyst surgery involves the cyst’s surgical removal.
It’s caused when the tissue behind the knee joint becomes swollen and inflamed at the back of the knee; a sports-related injury or a blow to the knee can lead to a Baker’s cyst developing. Baker’s Cysts are more common in women than men, probably because women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. In rare cases, the fluid-filled swelling can burst (rupture), resulting in a sharp pain in your calf which becomes red, swollen and tight.
Baker’s Cyst Removal procedure is performed if Baker’s Cyst begins to cause any discomfort or pain in the knee and calf, and sometimes for cosmetic reasons. The swelling and inflammation can lead to a build-up of fluid around the knee and may cause occasional locking or clicking in the knee joint.
In most of the cases, there are other factors that may trigger the development of a Baker’s cyst, e.g. osteoarthritis or chronic meniscal lesion and sometimes it evolves from the peri tendinitis of the flexor tendons of the knee. Therefore, in early stages – prior to surgery – it is highly recommended to find out the root reason and eliminate it.
After anesthesia is administered - which may be local, regional, or general - the surgical team sterilizes the leg with antibacterial solution. Then, the instruments are set up and the monitors are turned on. An incision is made over the cyst; it is identified, isolated, and severed from the surrounding tissue. Sometimes a graft or synthetic patch is placed at the site where the cyst was removed to cover the surface defect caused by removing the cyst.
The skin is then closed with sutures and bandages. You are awakened and taken to the recovery room. The procedure usually takes between 45 minutes to an hour. A larger cyst requires a more delicate procedure that takes more than an hour because it may have swollen around nerves and blood vessels.
By removing the Baker’s Cyst, the possibility of renewal can be decreased by the extirpation of the secerned capsule.
The procedure is often performed for cosmetic reasons.
The Baker’s Cyst removal relieves the patient from the discomfort and/or pain in the knee and calf caused by the cyst.
The possible complications that may arise during the surgery are:
Treatment for a Baker’s Cyst isn’t needed if you don’t have any symptoms. Further treatment will only be needed if the cyst stops you using your knee or causes persistent pain.
To treat a Baker’s Cyst you can:
If your cyst still causes problems after you’ve tried the above treatments, you may be a good candidate for Baker’s Cyst’s removal.
It is very important to provide the following information to your surgeon, enabling him or her to assess the risks for the surgical procedure and helps avoid unnecessary complications.
The following post-operative care is recommended at home after Baker’s Cyst Removal procedure:
Normally, it takes about 4-6 weeks to recover from a Baker’s Cyst Removal procedure.
The suggested check-up appointments are determined by the surgeon individually, depending on many factors such as the size of the former cyst, the patient’s phenotype etc. Generally, the stiches will be removed in 10-14 days and the surgeon checks your healing progress at the same time, if everything goes well and there are no complications you will have to arrange a second post-operative appointment 6 weeks after the surgery.