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  • Writer's pictureAndray Voronov

Two common causes of pain behind the knee

Commonly, injuries of the knee are around the front or to the sides of the knee. However, sometimes, pain and injuries occur at the back of the knee.  Baker's cyst and popliteus muscle injury are two common injuries that I see in the clinic that can cause pain in this location. 

What is a Baker's cysts? It's basically a fluid-filled cyst that forms at the back of the knee and is also known as a popliteal cyst . They are a common knee problem that can happen to people of all ages, however, older people and people with knee arthritis are more likely to have them. The occur when the knee makes too much synovial fluid (joint lubrication) and the joint capsule bulges out towards the back of the knee. Common symptoms are a lump or mass in the back of the knee, pain or discomfort in the knee, stiffness, and trouble bending or straightening the knee. Symptoms can also vary in intensity. 

The popliteus muscle is another common cause of pain in the back of the knee. It's a small but important muscle in the back of the knee that helps keep the knee joint stable and lets it move in the right way. But if this muscle gets strained, it can cause pain, instability, and other knee problems. Sports like soccer and basketball that require the knee to be turned or twisted a lot, like soccer and basketball, can put extra stress on the muscle and lead to injuries here.

Treatment-wise, in the case of a Baker's cyst, we use a "conservative" treatment approach. First, rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medication may be to reduce pain and swelling. Then I find compression can sometimes work well too. However, it's not uncommon that they disappear and heal on their own too. 

Dr Dray (Osteo)

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