A Baker’s cyst is an accumulation of fluid in the back (posterior) aspect of your knee. It denotes that something is wrong inside the joint, which is causing the production of the fluid. Often a Baker’s cyst is associated with a tear or injury to the meniscus, the cushion cartilage in the knee. It is important to find the cause of the swelling because swelling has what we call degradative enzymes in it--components that break down cartilage and tissue in the joint. Chronic swelling of the joint is not good for the joint surfaces; therefore, careful diagnosis and a treatment plan should be started. Physical therapy such as Ice, soft tissue massage, anti-inflammatory, compression are good first steps for symptom relief. Aspiration of the cyst with a cortisone injection is sometimes helpful. Surgical repair of the underlying problem usually cures the cyst.
The dreaded “hammy” is the tearing of the muscle or tendon fibers of the powerful hamstring muscles at the back of the leg. It’s dreaded because the pain is sharp, and the recovery can be long. Here is what’s known and what’s new: