Bakers Cyst

13 messages
10/10/2002 at 22:09
I have a problem with the back of my knee where I am unable to bend my leg back completly to stretch the quads without it hurting and feeling very tight, I have no lump behind the knee but this has been mentioned as a possible cause has anyone any ideas
10/10/2002 at 23:43
A Baker's cyst (or popliteal cyst as it's otherwise known) is normally the result of osteoarthritis in the knee and tends to be obvious as a feeling of fullness, if not a lump, behind your knee. It can limit knee movement, but isn't normally painful unless it bursts and the fluid tracks down your leg muscles, mimicking a DVT.

A far more likely problem in a runner without known osteoarthritis would be a hamstring tendon injury.

It's worth getting your doctor or a sports physio to put a hand on your leg and try to give you a definite diagnosis so that you can plan what to do about it.

Cheers, V-rap.
11/10/2002 at 11:58
Isn't bakers cyst the laymans term for ganglion?! In the old days they used to whack them with a bible, though obviously they were visible on the tendon as a lump.
11/10/2002 at 12:14
Not quite, Knocker. A ganglion is a cyst on the surface of a tendon and can occur anywhere; Baker's cysts specifically occur behind the knee. The family Bible trick is still used, although they tend to refill.
11/10/2002 at 12:30
I've never trusted my doctor...
11/10/2002 at 19:37
Thanks V-rap Ive had physio and USS, the pain when I knelt down went but the tightness is still there, some times it gets better then it becomes tight again
26/11/2004 at 12:45
I had bad pains in the backs of my knees after walking (I have been unable to run for two years due to problems with my feet). I was sent for MRI scans and have bakers cysts at the back of both knees. My doctor thinks that this is what is causing the pain and numbness in my feet - cysts pressing on nerves etc. I was referred to a specialist who refused to treat me - he says he can cut the cysts out but that they always come back if the main problem within the knee is not treated ie arthitis etc. I have absolutely no problems with my knees apart from the pain in the back so they don't know what has caused the cysts. I guess I just have to live with them and forget about running ever again! And walking too - as the pain is so bad at times. What a future.............
26/11/2004 at 13:39
I had it just as Vrap describes, with the 'trickle of water' feeling down the back of my leg: very weird! I was pregnant at the time so it caused quite a stir!
26/11/2004 at 16:37
Over 10 years ago I had a repair to a ruptured cruciate ligament and half the cartilage removed from my left knee. After running quite regularly my knee feels tender. Am I doing long term damage by running at all? I love running and don't want to stop but also don't want to be crippled later on!
13/12/2005 at 17:02
After completing a long cross country race my knee seized up and i was unable to walk. The next day I had a large swelling on the outside of my knee, and my knee 'gave way' when I walked. Physio later diagnosed an inflamation of the suprapatellar pouch and a sprain to the lateral knee ligament. Just wondered if anybody has had a similar problem, and if so how long befor running again.
14/02/2008 at 13:45

I have been running regularly for a few years, and have completed a few 10ks. I am currently running 5-6 miles, 2-3 times a week, in training for 3 10ks (march, early june and late june). I am also training for a long walk in mid July (62 miles in under 30 hours), so some of my easy runs will have to be replaced by walks. I am generally training every other day (walking or running), so as not to burn myself out. I wear walking boots for the walking, and obviously running shoes for my runs. Since I started my walking training in January (on tarmac or grass), I have been getting a pain in the back of my left knee, at the joint, usually after about 8 miles; by 13 miles it is quite sore and makes me limp. I doubt I could walk more than 15-20 miles at the moment. There does not appear to be a swelling so I guess it is not a Baker's cyst. It also hurts when I bend my knee fully (to make my heel touch my buttock). For 2-3 days after the walk it feels tight behind the knee, then eases off and feels more or less ok, unil the next 12 mile walk. Curiously, on occasions when I have walked a few miles, felt the pain develop, and then ran the last few miles, it appears to hurt less during the running part than the walking part.  Also, the pain does not really develop much on my 5-6 mile runs. I am 41, not overweight, and fit, though my knees have been a bit dodgy for years since bashing them in 5-aside football in my early 20s (they grind and click alot and I often get mild pain in both of them whilst training, usually on the outside and inside; a physio once reckoned i might well have damaged cartilage)

Is my rear knee pain likely to be a tendon problem? - ie. where the hamstring tendons enter the back of the knee joint? Note that on my last but one walk, the pain was towards the right side of the back of the knee joint, but after my last walk, it had shifted to the centre-left side?

 Any help/advice gratefully received

27/10/2009 at 20:20
Just wondering how you come on Chris?
I have the very same problem , going to physio next week. I carnt bend my knee and my hamstrings and calf feel tight.
28/10/2009 at 22:08
Hi S.I,

after my last post, i saw a physio, and she suggested lots of leg stretching exercises (every morning/evening and before/after sport) - this helped a great deal, and i managed the 62 mile walk fine. The stiffness/pain never fully went away, and in early 2009 i got other pains (right calf and right knee) so saw a podiatrist and now i have some orthotics - these have sorted out the right knee/calf, but my left knee is still stiff! I did a half marathon in September and the knee was a bit stiff but not too bad. I am still doing the exercises, and am certain that if I didnt, I would stiffen up alot more. I am doing the VLM in April so will need to be religious with my stretching. I also found that cooling my knee joint helped alot - either with an ice pack or by aiming a cold shower at my knees.

Your leg sounds like it is a more extreme version of what i have; unless you have a real injury, i suspect the physio will suggest some physiotherapy plus lots of stretching exercises etc at home; if it was cheaper i suppose we would all use a physio regularly and that would alleviate the problem in most cases!

2 other things - 1) several people have said that a range of activity (eg. cycling, swimming, core training at gym) will help, as the whole body would be more balanced etc ; 2) maybe you could see a podiatrist too - to check if you overpronate etc - though custom fitted orthotics are expensive so first I would actually recommend getting some free gait analysis and solving any gait issues with either appropriate shoes and/or off the shelf inserts (unless you have done all this already!)

Good luck with the physio - i would be interested to know how you get on.


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