Harvard Women's Health Watch

Ask the doctor: How do you treat a Baker's cyst?

Q. I have a Baker's cyst in my right knee. It has been drained twice and recurred. Are there any other treatments for it?

A. Your situation is fairly common. A Baker's cyst (also called a popliteal cyst) is a fluid-filled sac that can develop in the popliteal space, the hollow at the back of the knee joint. It's named for William Morrant Baker, a 19th-century surgeon who first described the condition. The cyst is filled with synovial fluid, a viscous material that lubricates the knee joint, reducing friction among the components of the joint and allowing the knee to flex and extend freely. There are several ways to treat a Baker's cyst, but it will often recur if the underlying cause hasn't been addressed.

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