Munson Health
Bakers Cyst

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by Kirchheimer S

(Popliteal Cyst)



Joint fluid helps the knee move smoothly. A Bakers cyst develops when there is too much of this fluid. The extra joint fluid is pushed out to the back of the knee. Extra fluid may be caused by:
  • Arthritisosteoarthritis is the most common type associated with Bakers cysts
  • Cartilage tears, such as a torn meniscus
  • Injury or accidents
  • Infection in joint
In children, Bakers cyst may be related to a problem with the bursa. The bursa is a small fluid filled sac between the bone and soft tissue.
4386W bursa.jpg
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Risk Factors

Factors that increase your risk of Bakers cyst include:
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Infectious arthritis
  • Gout
  • Past knee injuries or cartilage tears
  • History of corticosteroid injection around the knee
  • Previous knee surgery
  • Knee synovitis


National Library of Medicine

University Sports Medicine



Health Canada

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DynaMed Editorial Team. Popliteal cyst. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated November 15, 2011. Accessed January 4, 2013.

Fritschy D, Fasel J, et al. The popliteal cyst. Knee Surg sports Traumatol Arthrosc . 2006;14:623-628.

Torreggiani WC, Al-Ismael K, et al. The imaging spectrum of Baker’s (popliteal) cysts. Clin Radiol . 2002; 57:681-691.

Ward EE, Jacobson JA, et al. Sonographic detection of baker’s cysts: comparison with MR imaging. AJR Am J Roentgenol . 2001: 176:373-380.


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