Cyst > Treatments
Some baker's cysts may disappear
after treatment with ice, heat, and anti-inflammatory
medication. While under observation, your physician
may be able to fully understand what has caused your
cyst and develop a program to treat any underlying problem.
There are several ways to reduce your pain and discomfort
if you have been diagnosed with a baker's cyst:
your knee for about 20 minutes two to three times a
day, as long as pain and swelling persist.
a heating pad once a day or taking a warm bath can also
help relieve swelling.
medication is prescribed if there is a source of inflammation,
like frayed knee cartilage, that your doctor suspects
is causing the cyst.
your knee elevated above your heart level to restrict
the flow of blood into the joint.
any movements that may press, squeeze, or pinch the
It is a good sign when your baker's cyst goes away with
conservative treatment. The underlying cause of your
baker's cyst may have only been a minor knee problem
or disease that has subsided. Your knee is probably
healthy and ready to endure activities. The amount of
time patients spend under their physician's observation
varies greatly with the circumstances. A baker's cyst
is not a tumor, so if the cyst stops swelling and you
do not feel pain, your doctor may suggest you continue
ice and heat therapy indefinitely. If the cyst bothers
you, physicians usually recommend further treatment
within four to six months. Your general goal while under
observation is to cut back or avoid strenuous activities,
like contact sports, that could aggravate or inflame
the joint lining. Unnecessary pressure from running,
jumping, or twisting could cause the synovial membrane
to more rapidly secrete joint fluid and increase the
In the absence of other knee complications,
the amount of caution you should use during activities
to prevent a baker's cyst from recurring depends on
your age as follows:
Baker's cysts rarely affect joint function. Once
cysts heal, they rarely return.
The cyst may signal that you have sustained some
degree of cartilage damage. Becoming less involved in
strenuous activities, like contact sports or long distance
running, may help prevent future Baker's cysts. But
you do not need to avoid activities or be overly concerned
with prevention unless the underlying cause of your
Baker's cyst was a severe disease or injury that warrants
extra prevention measures.
A baker's cyst may be more problematic later in
life, harming the function of your knee joint, and you
should continue to visit your physician for check-ups
after the cyst heals. Because baker's cysts are common
companions of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis,
you should strongly consider cutting back your activity
level to avoid situations that could strain your knee
Weight control is also important. One extra pound of
body weight translates into three or four pounds of
weight across your knee every time you take a step.
Lightening the load on your knees helps them to function