“Most often we see Baker’s cysts when a doctor has suspected a blood clot and orders an ultrasound,” says Tracy Ray, MD, a sports medicine specialist with Duke Orthopaedics. “The radiologist reads the scan and discovers a Baker’s cyst instead.” Treating the cyst is not important if there are no symptoms and they rarely cause further problems.” “Most of the time we tell patients not to worry about it,” he says.
In some cases, however, this accumulation of fluid can cause pain and stiffness. “If it’s causing pain, it’s most likely due to previous damage, such as arthritis, a torn meniscus, or other damage to the joint,” says Dr. Ray. “In these cases, we try to treat the initial injury or illness rather than focusing on the cyst itself.”