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Baker's cyst

Usually there is a communication between the semimembranosus/gastrocnemius bursa and the knee joint. Baker’s cysts can occur secondary to any process that produces synovial fluid (e.g. in RA, osteoarthritis or trauma). A ruptured cyst can occasionally dissect down the calf and be confused with deep venous thrombosis or a muscle tear. It is diagnosed with ultrasound in a fast and reliable way.

Diseases that can lead to a knee joint effusion with Baker's cyst are the following:

- Diseases of the cartilage (e.g. chondromalacia, arthrosis) and the menisci (e.g. meniscus degeneration)

- Diseases and lesions of the capsule-ligament apparatus (e.g. periarthropathia genu, enthesitis, ruptures)

- Diseases of the synovial tissue (e.g. arthritis in the context of rheumatoid arthritis, peripheral spondyloarthritis or pigmented villo-nodular synovitis)

- Diseases of the bone (e.g. tumours near the joints, fractures, osteomyelitis)

- Crystalline arthropathies (e.g. urate or calcium pyrophosphate arthritis)

- Infections (e.g. septic arthritis)






Medical Center Wiesbaden (German)


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