What is a baker's cyst?

Baker's cyst describes a condition where the knee produces too much of the fluid (synovial liquid) that helps your leg swing smoothly and without friction between the moving parts.

A cyst becomes filled with this synovial liquid and causes a bulge on the knee and a feeling of tightness behind your knee that gets worse when you try to flex or extend your knee. Baker's cyst is often a result of another underlying problem with the knee joint, such as arthritis or a cartilage tear.

Orthopaedics at Main Line Health includes a team of board-certified orthpaedic specialists who quickly evaluate, diagnose and treat baker's cysts.


Baker's cysts may become complicated when the fluid starts leaking into the calf, causing even more pain in the knee, swelling in the calf, redness in the calf and a feeling that water is moving down the leg.

Because these symptoms can resemble those of other serious conditions such as a blood clot, your doctor will test with an ultrasound or an MRI to determine the specific cause of your symptoms. Medication, physical therapy and fluid drainage are the typical treatments for Baker's cyst.

Non-Surgical Orthopaedic Treatments

Some orthopaedic conditions are first treated with non-surgical procedures followed by surgery as the next step.

Epidural Corticosteroid Injections

Your doctor may recommend epidural steroid injections after other noninvasive treatment approaches have failed to relieve your pain.


Pain Management

Discover how Main Line Health experts serve Philadelphia by treating a wide range of conditions, including back, neck and oncology-related pain.

Surgical Care

General surgeons are doctors who are board certified as specialists in many different types of surgery. At Main Line Health, our general surgeons are an important part of your care team.