Possible Baker's Cyst

Patient

Q: I had knee replacement surgery 11 weeks ago. Since about 1 week after surgery I have experienced pain behind my knee. My PT has been going great, my range of motion is good, and extension is also back to normal. The problem I am having is this pain behind my knee. When I move in bed, it seems to "grab" and is quite painful. This happens usually when my knee is at a less than 90 degree angle. This has been an ongoing problem for me. It wakes me up several times a night. Up until now, everyone has told me that I just need to continue with my recoperation and PT. There seems to be a "lump" behind that knee. My PT today mentioned that it is possible that it is a Baker's Cyst. My question is this. Is this a normal, possible thing after this kind of surgery? Should I contact my ortho surgeon? My next appointment is 6 weeks from now. Any suggestions??

Doctor

A:   A Baker's cyst is a collection of fluid in small sac at the rear of the knee joint. It is not a usual complication of knee replacement surgery. However, it is often associated with conditions which require knee replacement such as osteoarthritis. It is possible that your recent surgery coupled with physical therapy has aggrevated the cyst. Most Baker's cyst resolve with rest, ice and anti-inflammatory medications. You may find over-the-counter  drugs such as acetominophen helpful. You should aslo make your orthopedic surgeon aware of this issue.

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