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Old 06-06-2012, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,875 posts, read 11,828,462 times
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I'm just raising this thread again because I have some additional info to share. I had commented before that my mother has other fluid cysts in various joints, just not a Baker's Cyst. Well, now she has that, too. Apparently they are all caused by the same underlying condition, the very bad osteoarthritis she has almost everywhere in her body.

She has, at 85, so many other problems, no one had even noticed the bulge in back of her knee. Her doctor sent her for a sonogram because of severe swelling she's been having in one foot and ankle. There was fear of a blood clot because she had a hip replacement recently. Turns out it's just a Baker's Cyst (AKA popliteal cyst), but it's so big it's interfering with circulation in her leg.

The doctor who did her hip replacement doesn't "believe in" aspirating Baker's Cysts and he told my mother she needs to consult with her arthritis specialist (she doesn't have one and she already has 11 doctors, so I'm reluctant to add another). Her primary care doctor is the one who prescribes for the arthritis. But the primary, who has basically been useful for nothing except prescriptions, shots, and referrals the past six years, again wants her to "see a specialist" about the cyst/swelling. So I called the hip doctor since he is an orthopedic physician and got the "I don't do that" response.

Of course I researched this on the internet and there was a list of treatment options suggested: lose weight, stay off your feet, use walking assistance, take arthritis medication and/or NSAIDS. She already does all of the above. She's underweight, spends most of her day on the sofa, takes both NSAIDs and an arthritis prescription and she couldn't get across the room without a walker.

The only other treatments suggested were a shot of steroid medication to reduce the swelling and an Ace bandage around the knee. Has anyone tried either of those? Before we found out about the knee issue, she had been wearing support socks because of her foot swelling, but that wasn't helping at all. And of course she wore those post-operative support hose for weeks following her surgery. But this problem seems to have appeared since then.

Has anyone here ever gone the steroid route? Is it dangerous to have severe swelling in the ankle and foot constantly? (I've had swelling off and on for years following a foot injury, but nothing to the extent she has.) Any votes on whether or not I should consult an arthritis specialist? Don't they deal mostly with rheumatoid arthritis? (If I could even get one ... there are so many elderly people in Tucson, the waiting list to see illnesses related to their problems is often six months and is why I can't get a better primary for my mother.)

Any advice or even musings appreciated.
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Old 06-06-2012, 05:10 PM
 
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I've been told that you can have them drained but that it will fill up again. I have one behind my Right knee after I had a horrible fall and crashed on my knee. Surprisingly, I did no damage to my knee, got right back up but this cyst developed. In the beginning it hurt and was tender but now, it seems to have diminished.
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Old 06-06-2012, 05:16 PM
 
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I've had one for about 40years and it comes and goes. When it's swelled up, it hurts a bit but it's never been bad enough to have invasive procedures. Seems your orthopaedic would offer the best advice for the situation.
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Old 06-06-2012, 05:46 PM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
30,570 posts, read 38,155,551 times
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Ok so here is what happened to me. The Baker's cyst has not returned after the intitial shot of steroid. Subsequently, I have developed general arthritic symptoms in both knees, which makes sense, since they both have the same mileage on them. I have arthritis in both of them and have had about 3 or 4 shots of cortizone in both. It has worked pretty well, but soon the shots will be the other lubricating fluid.
My ortho doctor said that as long as I'm not overweight, and remain active, I will just go on like this treating the symptoms forever. I am many many years away from knee replacement.
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:21 PM
 
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Basically what you have going on is obstruction of what is called the popliteal fossa, which is essentially just a small diamond shaped window behind your knee. Evey wonder why it hurts to get hit in the back of the knee with a stick? That's because all sorts of important structures pass through the popliteal fossa. The tibial nerve (essentially just the sciatic nerve) and also essebtially the lower portions of the femoral artery as well as the great saphenous vein all passage through there. Obstruct the window with a distended bursa that puts pressure on those structures and you will get pain and swelling in the leg due to poor blood flow. There is piping with regards to arteries and veins around the popliteal fossa, which is why your leg won't fall off, but the main vein and artery to the lower limb is compressed.
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:20 PM
 
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My mom (70ish) has had a Baker's for many years, coming after a fall she took running. According to her ortho, the BC is a result of damage to the knee from trauma or arthritis. The BC is formed from leaking joint fluid. My mom's BC recently ruptured...and it was quite painful- ER painful. The ortho recommended knee arthroscopy surgery and removal of the BC. She had it done 10 days ago, and while it wasn't easy, her knee is much less painful.
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Old 11-20-2013, 10:43 PM
 
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Bakers cyst's are caused by an injury in the front of the knee. Usually to do with the meniscus or ACL.
You have to treat the cyst and ensure you've reduced its inflammation before you can begin to treat the cause of the cyst.

Often times, people have a small tear in their meniscus that they are completely unaware of. Most of these types of tears are caused by repetitive strain instead of a single traumatic injury to the knee.

Cold therapy is great in reducing the swelling and inflammation of the cyst.
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Old 03-28-2014, 11:13 PM
 
Location: Conservative Las Vegas
15,487 posts, read 18,130,944 times
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I went to Urgent Care yesterday, barely walking, and from an ultrasound they found that I had a Baker's Cyst. It's so painful from all the swelling!

Last summer, when walking home from the grocery store, with too many groceries, it popped way back then, and it's been manageable up until the other night, when I stupidly decided to do some deep knee bends.

The Dr. thinks it became enlarged due to the trauma of the deep knee bends, and he scheduled an appt. with an orthopedist to have it removed.

So until that happens, I feel like a cripple, I've iced it up several times, but it doesn't seem to help much. Even getting in and out of the car is a challenge!
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Old 08-27-2014, 12:12 PM
 
911 posts, read 856,551 times
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Default I'd like to hear your experience with Baker's cyst

My doctor told me I had this, along with a torn meniscus in my knee.
The cyst is behind my knee.
He said that it was caused bec. inflammation led to fluid build-up, and that the fluid would be re-absorbed.

But it's been 3 months, and I still have it.
It may even be a little worse, it definitely is not better.

I get physical therapy for the torn meniscus, and she said the same thing about the baker's cyst, which really tells me nothing.

I'm going to do some research, but I'm interested to hear if anyone else has had this -
what you think the cause was, and how you treated it.

thanks.

Last edited by ellenrr; 08-27-2014 at 12:13 PM.. Reason: clarity
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Old 08-28-2014, 07:50 AM
 
911 posts, read 856,551 times
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The research I did says the same - that Baker's Cyst is caused by an injury to the knee or arthritis.

I would agree one should reduce inflammation. Acc. to my doctor, when inflammation is reduced, the extra fluid will be re-absorbed.

Also, have seen that cold is good, and I'm going to try that.

I think Cincwood is right about the small tear in the meniscus.
What happened to me is -
I was fine, used to walk at least an hour a day.
One day, I did a lot of walking, a few hours - over the day, and on concrete.
I still felt fine, no pain while I was walking or after.

But two days later I had an excrutiating pain in my right calf. After about 10 days (stupid, I know, but I am used to things just getting better), the pain was so bad I could barely walk. I started going to doctors, pain management, and after two months finally got a diagnosis of torn meniscus, baker's cyst, arthritis, and Chondromalacia patella. The latter results from degeneration of cartilage due to poor alignment of the kneecap and is fairly common.

It's weird that the whole thing - which now is all centered in my knee - started off in my calf. I have gotten no reasonable explanation of this from any of the doctors or physical therapists I've seen.

Some have suggested this was 2 discrete events. Which is plain silly. Obviously they are related. The most reasonable hypothesis someone made is that whatever was going on in my calf - over a month or so - threw my gait off, perhaps exacerbated the small tear that I had in my meniscus.

Whatever - I am doing physical therapy - for 2 months so far - to treat the torn mensicus.
I am better than I was in March when this started. I can feel how the exercises I do every day are strengthening my muscles.
Which I think is all the p.t. can do.

But I'm a long way from my normal self.

And Now that I read another poster says that deep knee bends irritated their bakers cyst, I am wondering if some of the p.t. exercises I'm doing are bad for my cyst. I had asked my physical therapist, cause some of the exercises involving bending the back of of my knee- seem to make it worse.

So I'm going to skip those and see how I feel.

Thanks everyone for all the input. It is very helpful to read others' experiences and diagnoses and treatments - even tho we're all different. And ultimately have to rely on our medical practitioner.
Still.... it is helpful.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CINCWOOD View Post
Bakers cyst's are caused by an injury in the front of the knee. Usually to do with the meniscus or ACL.
You have to treat the cyst and ensure you've reduced its inflammation before you can begin to treat the cause of the cyst.

Often times, people have a small tear in their meniscus that they are completely unaware of. Most of these types of tears are caused by repetitive strain instead of a single traumatic injury to the knee.

Cold therapy is great in reducing the swelling and inflammation of the cyst.
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