Baker’s Cyst May Cause Numbness
Q: Over the past eight months, I have suffered from numbness in my right foot. On occasion, the problem goes slightly above my knee. I have seen four different medical specialists, but the conclusion, quite frankly, is that they are in a quandary.
About two years ago, I suffered from a Baker’s cyst behind my right knee, but that condition seems to have cleared up. I have been treated with Neurontin and had a steroid injection around my lower spine. But neither helped. Do you have some thoughts on the possible direction I might take?
A: In any problem related to the nervous system, in which you experience numbness, tingling, pain, etc., it’s important to map out the problem area — almost like drawing a line around the spot where each symptom occurs.
If you have a general health reference book, look up what are called dermatomes. These are the patterns of how the nerves receive and transmit signals from the sensors in the skin.
In looking at these patterns, you will notice that a sock or glove distribution of symptoms doesn’t occur unless more than one nerve is involved. And typically this happens when the problem occurs closer to the abnormal sensation and away from the spinal cord, such as one sees in people with ruptured disks.
There are diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, that can cause symptoms, such as numbness, that do not seem to follow these patterns of distribution and also come and go. So it’s important to raise this possibility with your doctors.
Common Treatments For Knee Osteoarthritis
Knee osteoarthritis treatments focus on reducing pain and improving joint mobility. Doctors often recommend physical therapy to improve muscle tone and flexibility. They may also recommend that overweight or obese individuals lose weight to reduce pressure on the knees.
Anti-inflammatory medications can help reduce the pain associated with knee arthritis. Steroid injections to reduce inflammation and hyaluronic acid injections to lubricate the joint can also relieve discomfort.
Sometimes, surgery is required to remove or repair damaged cartilage or realign the knee. More severe cases may require knee replacement surgery to relieve pain and restore normal movement.
Art And Science Of Chiropractic
The first step in dealing with pain in the knee is a careful and thorough examination special scans may be necessary to make the correct diagnosis. Having said that, many conditions can be assessed by the astute clinician without the use of expensive tests.
But it takes a combination of art and science of chiropractic to fix these conditions.
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Causes Of A Baker’s Cyst
Knee damage caused by a sports-related injury or a blow to the knee can lead to a Baker’s cyst developing.
A Baker’s cyst can also sometimes occur if you have a health condition such as:
Baker’s cysts are more common in women than men, probably because women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. They usually develop in people aged over 40, although can affect people of any age, including children.
Common Treatments For Ligamentous Strains Or Tears
The most common treatment for mild to moderate ligament strains is the RICE method, which is resting the area, applying ice to reduce swelling, applying compression via braces or bandages and elevating the area. Pain relievers may also be used to alleviate symptoms.
In moderate to severe cases, including those involving a tear, other treatment might be considered. Physical therapy, reconditioning and even surgery might be options, depending on the severity of the injury.
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What Are Possible Complications Of A Baker Cyst
In rare cases, a Baker cyst may cause complications. The cyst may enlarge, which may cause redness and swelling. The cyst may also rupture, causing warmth, redness, and pain in your calf.
The symptoms may be the same as a blood clot in the veins of the legs. Your healthcare provider may need imaging tests of your leg to make sure you dont have a clot. Rupture can also lead to its own complications, such as:
- Trapping of a tibial nerve. This causes calf pain and numbness behind the leg. It can be treated with arthrocentesis and steroid injections.
- Blockage of the popliteal artery. This causes pain and lack of blood flow to the leg. It can also be treated with arthrocentesis and steroid injections.
- Compartment syndrome. This causes intense pain and problems moving the foot or toes. Compartment syndrome is a medical emergency. It needs immediate surgery. It can lead to permanent muscle damage if not treated right away.
The Swelling Occurs Due To The Accumulation Of Synovial Fluid Inside A Small Sac Known As A Bursa
A Bakers cyst is a painful condition that can be characterized by swelling in the back of the knee.
If you are not yet familiar, a bursa is a small balloon-like structure that is found throughout the body and acts as a cushion between bones, tendons and muscles.
When this condition develops, the synovial fluid accumulates in a bag and protrudes from behind the knee.
This is also known as a popliteal cyst because it directly affects the popliteal region of the knee .
If it is not treated, it may break. A broken Bakers cyst can cause the collected synovial fluid to transfer and travel through the calf muscles of the legs. This can trigger a rapid swelling of the leg that can cause more complications.
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Can A Bakers Cyst Be Prevented
The best way to prevent a Bakers cyst is to prevent knee injuries. A few ways you can prevent an injury to your knee include:
- Using the balls of your feet to turn instead of your knees.
- Warming up properly before you exercise and cooling down afterward.
- Stopping immediately when you get a knee injury. Its important to ice, rest, wear a compression wrap and elevate your injury when it happens. Talk to your healthcare provider about any knee injuries to make sure youre caring for them correctly.
How Is A Baker’s Cyst Diagnosed
A Baker’s cyst may be diagnosed using a number of different methods, including:
- physical examination of your knee
- taking your medical history to see if you have any conditions that may cause a Bakers cyst
- x-ray this wont show the cyst, but can show the presence of arthritis in the knee joint, which may be causing the problem
- shining a light through the cyst this can determine that the mass is filled with fluid
- ultrasound or magnetic imaging resonance .
How is a Baker’s cyst treated?
Baker’s cysts dont always need treatment as they can get better and disappear on their own.
If treatment is required, options can include:
- treating the underlying cause such as medication for arthritis or rest and ice for torn knee cartilage
- temporarily avoiding activities that aggravate your knee joint
- physiotherapy which may include heat or ice treatment and exercises and stretches to maintain the mobility and strength of your knee
- using crutches to take the weight off your knee
- cortisone injections to reduce inflammation
- draining the fluid by inserting a needle into the cyst
- surgery may be required to remove the cyst if all other treatments havent worked.
A conservative approach of watching and waiting is recommended with children, as the condition commonly subsides on its own without active treatment.
Most people with a Baker’s cyst will be able to continue going to work or school.
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A Bakers Cyst Also Referred To As A Popliteal Cyst Or Bulge
A Bakers cyst, also referred to as a popliteal cyst or bulge-knee, is a fluid-filled sac located in the back of the knee. The knee joint is filled with a special type of fluid that helps cushion the spaces between the bones, ligaments, and muscles in order to prevent wear and tear on the joint. A Bakers cyst forms when synovial fluid leaks into the back of the knee. Occasionally, a Bakers cyst can rupture and cause swelling in the calf.
A Primary Baker’s Cyst
A Baker’s cyst may develop just behind an otherwise healthy knee joint. This type of cyst is sometimes referred to as a primary or idiopathic Baker’s cyst. It usually develops in younger people and in children.
It is thought that in this type of Baker’s cyst there is a connection between the knee joint and the popliteal bursa behind the knee. This means that synovial fluid from inside the joint can pass into the popliteal bursa and a Baker’s cyst can form.
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Common Treatments For Osgood
Osgood-Schlatter disease is easily treated, and most athletes recover entirely by the time their tibia completes its development. Resting from activities that stress the patellar tendon is usually the first step to reducing the pain and inflammation of Osgood-Schlatter disease. Other standard therapies include:
- Over-the-counter medication, specifically NSAIDs
- Stretching and physical therapy, aimed at increasing the flexibility of the thigh muscles
- Straps or bands that put pressure on the patellar tendon may help control pain during activities
Who Gets A Baker’s Cyst
A Baker’s cyst most commonly occurs in children aged 4 to 7 years and in adults aged 35 to 70 years. However, Baker’s cysts are much more common in adults than in children. You are more likely to develop a Baker’s cyst if you have an underlying problem with your knee.
Arthritis is the most common condition associated with Baker’s cysts. This can include various different types of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis , rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and gout.
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Hard Lump Behind Right Knee Painful
A hard lump behind your knee might be a symptom of bakerâs cyst, it is a fluid-filled swelling that develops at the back of the knee. Itâs caused when the tissue behind the knee joint becomes swollen and inflamed. The swelling and inflammation can cause, pain in the knee and calf, a build-up fluid around the knee and at times locking in the knee joint. However, sometimes it might not cause any symptoms other than the fluid swelling behind the knee.
The most effective relief comes from treating the underlying problem. Surgery is at times needed to drain the cyst. In rare cases, the lump can burst , resulting in fluid leaking down into your calf. This can cause sharp pain, swelling and redness in your calf.
Common Treatments For Patellofemoral Syndrome
Resting and icing the knee can often reduce the discomfort associated with patellofemoral syndrome, and affected individuals can take over-the-counter painkillers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
Physical therapy is the most common treatment for patellofemoral syndrome. Treatment usually focuses on strengthening the muscles supporting the knee and improving posture to stabilize the joint. Therapists sometimes recommend using tape or a brace to support the affected knee. They may also advise refraining from sports or sticking to low-impact exercise like swimming during recovery.
Surgery is sometimes necessary to treat patellofemoral syndrome if an injury or joint condition causes it. The most common surgical solution for patellofemoral syndrome is an arthroscopy, where damaged cartilage is removed from the patella. Occasionally, the kneecap may need to be realigned to resume normal function.
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Treatment For Ruptured Bakers Cyst
The Bakers cyst usually does not need any treatment and it will disappear on its own. However, when the cyst bursts, you may need some self-care treatment for the pain.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs : These have antipyretic and analgesic effects. At higher dosages, NSAIDs also reduce the inflammation and swelling associated with cysts.
- Rest: To reduce knee irritation, you must rest your knee as much as possible. Your doctor or physical therapist can advise you as to how long you should rest, and may be able to recommend alternative exercises and activities.
- Icepacks: These decrease inflammations in the affected area. Be careful not to apply the ice directly to your skin.
- Crutches: Using crutches allows you to take any weight off the knee and walk without any pain.
If you are not getting any relief from these techniques, or if the swelling is especially painful or big, you may need additional treatment, such as:
Some Knee Joint Anatomy
The first diagram below illustrates a typical normal knee joint looking from the side.
The joint capsule is a thick structure that surrounds your whole knee and gives it some support. It is lined by a special membrane called the synovium. The synovium produces a fluid called synovial fluid. This fluid acts as a lubricant within your knee joint and helps to cushion it during movement.
There are also various tissue pouches called bursae next to the knee. A bursa is a small sac of synovial fluid with a thin lining. Bursae are normally found around joints and in places where ligaments and tendons pass over bones. They help to reduce friction and allow maximal range of motion around joints. The bursa at the back of your knee is called the popliteal bursa.
Each knee joint also contains a medial and a lateral meniscus. These are thick rubber-like pads of cartilage tissue. The menisci cartilage sit on top of, and are in addition to, the usual thin layer of cartilage which covers the top of one of the bones of the lower leg, called the tibia. They act as shock absorbers to absorb the impact of the upper leg on the lower leg. They also help to improve smooth movement and stability of the knee.
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What Is Patellar Tendinitis
Patellar tendinitis, also known as jumpers knee, is a condition where the tendon attaching the kneecap to the shin becomes damaged. The patella tendon plays a vital role in extending the knee joint. Patellar tendinitis often causes problems with everyday activities such as walking. It also causes knee pain that may worsen with exercise.
Patellar tendinitis occurs when the patella tendon is placed under repetitive tension, which can gradually cause it to tear. Its often caused by jumping. The condition can sometimes progress to tendinopathy, a term used to describe tendon damage that lasts for several weeks or more.
What Is A Baker’s Cyst
A Baker’s cyst is a fluid-filled swelling that can develop behind the knee. It is one cause of knee pain.
It is named after a doctor called William Baker who first described this condition in 1877. It is also sometimes called a popliteal cyst, as the medical term for the area behind your knee is the popliteal fossa.
The cyst can vary in size from a very small cyst to a large cyst that is a number of centimetres across. Rarely, a Baker’s cyst can develop behind both knees at the same time.
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Common Treatments For Patellar Tendinitis
Doctors usually recommend treating patellar tendinitis conservatively before considering more invasive treatments. Anti-inflammatory painkillers can relieve discomfort, and physical therapy is often used to stretch the surrounding muscles and improve muscle support to the knee joint. Some patients also require a patellar tendon strap to reduce pressure on the affected tendon.
If conservative treatments prove unsuccessful, injecting the tendon with steroids can often help reduce pain and inflammation. In some cases, surgery to remove the damaged sections of the tendon may be required.
How Common Is Osgood
Osgood-Schlatter disease is prevalent among active adolescents. Its most often found in individuals whose sports require a great deal of running and jumping, like volleyball and track. The onset of the condition often coincides with a growth spurt, usually between the ages of 10 and 15. Some individuals may experience the disease in both knees, but it more frequently shows up in one knee.
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White Lump On Side Of Knee
Lump behind knee is caused by many different ways. A white lump on side of knee might be a symptom of gout, It is caused when the level of uric acid in the blood rise until it becomes excessive , causing urate crystals to build up around the joint. The symptoms of gout include painful swelling and inflammation in one or more of the joints. Gout can be extremely painful.
According to the UK Gout Society, gout affects around one in every 100 people. Its more common in men, particularly those aged 30 to 60, and in older people. Other symptoms of gout include: severe joint pain, swelling and warmth around the joint, red and shiny skin around the joint, mild fever, firm white lumps beneath the skin .
Prevention Of A Bakers Cyst
Knee joint trauma during exercise and sporting activities is common. You can reduce your chances of developing Bakers cyst and, if youve previously been treated for Bakers cyst, stop the condition from recurring by taking care to prevent knee injuries with the following steps:
- Gently go through the range of motions needed for your sport to warm up the knee joint and surrounding soft tissues.
- Stretch your muscles before beginning your activity.
- Choose appropriate and supportive footwear.
- When you turn, aim to do it on the balls of your feet, instead of through the knees.
- Always cool down after exercise using gentle, slow stretching.
- If you do feel a knee injury, stop what youre doing straight away. Apply an ice pack to the area to ease any swelling. Youll need to get further advice from a medical professional.
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