Baker's Cyst Diagnosis
- What It Is
- Risk Factors
- Living With
- User Questions
- Alternative Treatment
- Care Guide
- Questions for Your Doctor
- When to Contact a Doctor
- Find a Doctor
- Resource Guide
How to Diagnose Baker's Cyst
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. During a physical exam, the doctor will look for a soft mass in the back of the knee, and compare range of motion (and limitations) of the affected knee to the normal knee. The following tests or procedures may be done:
- Trans-illumination-shining a light through the cyst to show the mass is fluid-filled.
- Ultrasound and CT scans -tests useful in sorting out other causes of knee swelling.
- MRI scan -a test that uses magnetic waves to make pictures of structures inside the body. This can be helpful to visualize the cyst and show any meniscal injury.
- X-rays (arthrography) may be taken. A Baker's cyst will not appear on X-rays but they can show arthritis or other knee abnormalities.
If the cyst is growing rapidly and accompanied by fever, blood samples may be taken to rule out more serious tumors that could occur behind the knee.