Bakers Cysts

If your knee pain is restricting your movement, then minimally invasive regenerative treatments could help you live life the way you want to.

Baker’s cyst or popliteal cyst as it is sometimes referred to is a fluid-filled cyst that forms behind the knee. The cyst can cause swelling and a tight feeling at the back of the knee. Unfortunately, women are more prone to develop it than men. It commonly occurs in people over 40 but younger people including children can also suffer from it.

What treatments does the Regenerative Clinic offer?

Our renowned medical team provides a range of treatments, from the traditional to the innovative:

This is an effective and well-researched procedure that’s a potential alternative to surgery. It takes advantage of the blood’s natural healing properties to reduce pain and improve joint function. It uses a specially concentrated dosage of platelets prepared from your own blood to repair damaged cartilage, tendons, ligaments, muscle and bone. Patients usually see their symptoms improve in one to two weeks of having the injections. Read more clinical evidence supporting PRP here.

This day case treatment is exclusively offered to our patients. It uses pioneering technology using your body’s own adipose (fat) cells to treat pain and inflammation with MFAT Injections. Injections using MFAT Injections are minimally invasive and are carried out under ultrasound guidance. Altogether the procedure takes about an hour to perform with a minimal recovery time. As well as being a potential alternative to surgery, MFAT Injections can also aid post-surgery recovery.

Read Angela’s story who had this treatment in her knees. She is now pain free and her life has changed completely.

What causes Baker's cysts?

A Baker’s cyst can be caused by an overproduction of a fluid called synovial. This is a lubricating fluid which reduces friction in the moving part of the knee and helps the leg move freely. When too much fluid is produced it builds up into a cyst at the back of the knee. 

Baker’s cyst can also be caused by: 

  • Osteoarthritis – wear and tear of the joints
  • Rheumatoid arthritis – where the immune system attacks the joints
  • Gout – a form of arthritis, it is caused by a build-up of uric acid in the blood

What are the symptoms of Baker's cysts?

Baker’s cysts causes pain in the knee and calf, a build-up of fluid around the knee and pain or discomfort in the knee. In some cases, the knee may lock or a clicking feeling is felt. 

In extreme cases, the cyst can rupture which causes the fluid to leak into the calf. This may be accompanied by sharp pain and redness in the calf. 

How are Baker's cysts diagnosed?

If you notice a swelling or a tight feeling at the back of the knee, a doctor will examine the knee and ask about your symptoms to see what is causing it. In some cases, to rule out other causes you may need to have a: 

  • MRI – using a magnetic field and radio waves a detailed image of the knee is created
  • Ultrasound – sound waves are used to create an image of your knee

What are the non-surgical options for Baker's cysts?

Treatment for Baker’s cysts aims to relieve symptoms and improve the function of the knee. 

Initial treatment may include medications such as analgesics which help reduce the pain, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – NSAIDS – which reduce the pain and inflammation and steroid injections which reduce inflammation and provide short-term relief.

Applying ice to the area can help relieve the discomfort and swelling. If you do this, it’s important to place a cloth between the ice and your skin to prevent you getting an ice-burn.

You may also be shown how to perform a range of strengthening exercises for the muscles around the knee which are designed to preserve the function of the knee.

Our expert team specialises in treating knee pain using advanced non-surgical techniques including stem cell therapy,  Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy and AMPP® Activated Mesenchymal Pericyte Plasma (using Lipogems® technology).

What are the surgical options for Baker's cysts?

Surgery is not commonly recommended as a treatment of baker’s cyst, but it may be needed to drain the cyst or to repair any damage around the knee joint. 

Why have a consultation at the Regenerative Clinic?

Our innovative range of treatments goes beyond what’s available on the NHS. As well as providing a full opinion on your condition that includes all the traditional non-surgical and surgical options, our experienced consultants will also assess your suitability for our alternative biological therapies, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)  and Activated Mesenchymal Pericyte Plasma (AMPP).

Who will my consultation be with?

Your consultation will be with one of our knee specialists, Professor WilsonMr. Sam HeatonMr. Jamie ArbuthnotMr. Arj ImbuldeniyaMr. Rohit JainMr. Ed Britton or Mr. Amit Kumar and will last approximately 30 minutes.

During the consultation, they will:

  • discuss your medical history to find out more about your symptoms
  • examine the joint and identify the source of the pain and any mobility issues
  • arrange for a diagnostic investigation, usually an MRI scan
  • discuss all the treatment options with you, along with their potential benefits and any risks.

Our expert team comprises of highly experienced surgeons, sports medicine doctors and physiotherapists who are committed to delivering a high level of care and the correct treatment option so you can quickly get back to moving around. Whether you need conventional treatment or if you are a candidate for our regenerative treatments, you can be sure that you will get the best advice.

What is the autologus biological approach and when should it be considered?

Autologous translates as ‘from the same person.’ In brief, it involves using your own cells to encourage healing. The major benefits are that there is less chance of rejection, infection or contamination as you are using cells from your own body rather than a donor. 

We offer a range therapies based on this principle which can be considered if traditional treatments including surgery aren’t relieving your pain. 

Clinical evidence

Biological treatments are pioneering procedures and we’re continuously monitoring and recording its effectiveness. Patients undertaking these treatments are asked to complete pre-operative and post-operative questionnaires. 

The information obtained from these questionnaires allows us to monitor your progress and it also contributes to our evidence-based database and other global studies on biological treatments. All information gathered is anonymised. 

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