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Treatment for Baker's Cyst: A Comprehensive Guide

Knee pain treatment

Dealing with unfamiliar medical challenges can be overwhelming. Rest assured, understanding and treating a Baker's cyst is straightforward. To help, we'll explain the treatment for Baker's cyst below. With this, we hope you feel ready and informed to make the best choices for your health.

Understanding Baker's Cyst

What is a Baker's Cyst?

A Baker's cyst, commonly called a popliteal cyst, is a fluid-filled swelling behind the knee. The fluid typically arises from the knee joint secondary to internal knee issues, often related to arthritis or cartilage injuries.


The knee contains synovial fluid, which ensures smooth movement by reducing friction. However, overproduction of this fluid due to conditions like arthritis or cartilage damage can lead to its accumulation behind the knee, causing a Baker's cyst.

Baker's cyst


It might not always be glaringly obvious. Some people with a Baker's cyst won't experience any pain and might not even be aware of its presence. However, if you're exhibiting symptoms, they may include:

  • Pain in the knee.

  • Swelling behind the knee, potentially extending to the leg.

  • Stiffness, with a decreased ability to bend the knee. These symptoms can show after physical activity or extended standing.

When No Treatment for Baker's Cyst is Necessary

Although a diagnosis can cause worry, not all Baker's cysts need immediate treatment. Often, the cyst exists harmlessly without causing any distress or discomfort.

Nature of Small Baker's Cysts

Small Baker's cysts, while a recognised anomaly behind the knee, often go unnoticed by many people. Because they are small and inconspicuous, they usually don't cause any immediate problems or obvious symptoms.

Many people have cysts that are not harmful and don't cause any problems. These cysts don't bother them; they can do their normal activities. Basically, these cysts usually fit into a person's daily life without causing problems or needing treatment.

Incidental Findings

Doctors often identify Baker's cysts on their patients during routine knee scans, such as ultrasounds or MRIs. While these detections might come as a surprise, they typically aren't a cause for concern.

These cysts are usually inactive and don't cause symptoms, even if seen on medical images. Some people have cysts behind their knees but don't feel any pain or swelling. They may not even know the cyst exists, so they can still go about their daily activities without discomfort.

Ultrasound-Guided Aspiration

What is It?

Ultrasound-guided aspiration is a specialised procedure that's developed for addressing pronounced Baker's cysts. This is commonly known as the best Baker's cyst (Popliteal cyst) treatment. By harnessing the power of real-time ultrasound imaging, we're able to pinpoint and drain the cyst, providing relief to our patients.

The Procedure Explained

When you approach our clinic with concerns about a Baker's cyst:

  • An initial knee ultrasound assessment is conducted to:

    • Confirm the diagnosis.

    • Rule out other potential causes of knee discomfort.

  • If a large and painful Baker's cyst is identified:

    • We carry out the aspiration process, where the cyst's fluid is drained.

    • A combination of steroids and local anaesthetic is administered. This approach:

      • Reduces the possibility of cyst recurrence.

      • Alleviates associated pain and inflammation.

Baker's cyst aspiration

How is Baker's cyst aspiration done?

On the day of the procedure, we ensure to spend time discussing the procedure in detail. You will have plenty of opportunity to ask questions or concerns you might have. During the procedure:

  • You'll typically be asked to lie on your stomach on the examination table.

  • A comprehensive ultrasound evaluation is carried out to determine the best approach.

  • The skin around the cyst area is cleaned and prepped.

  • To ensure minimal discomfort, we administer a numbing medicine via a small injection.

  • With the help of ultrasound guidance, a needle is delicately introduced into the cyst. This allows for fluid aspiration and the subsequent steroid injection.

Remember that you deserve the best when evaluating your Baker's cyst treatment options. Book an appointment with us and experience quality care.

Why Choose Ultrasound-Guided Aspiration?

Now that you know more about the treatment for Baker's cyst, let's explore why it might be the best option for you.

1.   Effectiveness: Direct Targeting

We use real-time ultrasound imaging to ensure precise location and targeting of the Baker's cyst. This level of precision translates to tangible results. The cyst is addressed directly, and the relief from symptoms is fast.

2.   Minimally Invasive: No Need for Surgery

Surgery can be a daunting prospect for many. With ultrasound-guided aspiration, you can put those worries to rest. This method is non-surgical, reducing potential complications and ensuring minimal discomfort.

3.   Recovery Time: Get Back On Your Feet Faster

Long recovery periods can be a deterrent. Thankfully, the recovery from ultrasound-guided aspiration is both swift and smooth. Most patients bounce back quickly and can return to their routine in no time.

Please note that while ultrasound-guided aspiration is highly effective, there's the possibility that a Baker's cyst can return or the aspiration can be unsuccessful if the fluid within the cyst is too thick to aspirate. In such instances where recurrence becomes a concern, surgery should be considered as a potential treatment option.


To make informed health decisions, it's important to understand Baker's cyst and its treatment. Though there are a few options, ultrasound-guided aspiration is a standout choice for many. It's minimally invasive, translating to fewer potential complications and a shorter recovery time.

If you'd like to learn more or book an appointment for ultrasound-guided aspiration for a baker's cyst, book a session here. Our Musculoskeletal Ultrasound & Injections Clinic team will be more than happy to help.


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Specialist Consultant Musculoskeletal Radiologist Doctor with extensive experience in image-guided intervention

To book a consultation:

Call us on 020 3442 1259 or Book online

The Musculoskeletal Ultrasound & Injections clinic

Unit 3, Brentside Executive Park

Brentford, TW8 9DR

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