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DrRussMD, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 64693
Experience:  Internal Medicine--practice all of internal medicine, all ages, family, health, prevention, complementary medicine, etc.
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How does it take for a Baker's Cyst to dissipate?

Resolved Question:

How long does it take for a Baker's Cyst to dissipate?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  DrRussMD replied 6 years ago.
There is no set time
Some will resolve on their own and some will not
Some need to be drained
Some require surgery rarely
Before that, gentle physical therapy and a compression wrap would be indicated.
Ibuprofen is really only the first level of treatment
Next would be the therapy and compression wrap and perhaps use of crutches, then a steroid injection or drainage by the orthopedist, if needed.

good luck
let me know if you have further questions
use reply

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I am scheduled for a tour beginning in mid-July involving considerable walking.
I have no pain but my right ankle and leg below the knee are swollen.
Is it possible to determine whether I will have too much difficulty on a walking tour this july 25th -August
5th ? Is it possible to accelerate treatment? I have read that aspiration often causes infection. How risky is aspiration?
Expert:  DrRussMD replied 6 years ago.
Aspiration is not risky done by an expert, rare to have infection at all.
You should have an ultrasound to get the evaluation you desire, and to make sure that this does not involve a blood clot in a vein, that is being missed with this diagnosis.
The extension of the cyst downward warrants orthopedic involvement at this point.
And therapy to accelerate resolution.

Good luck again
let me know if you have further questions
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
What is the significance of extension to swelling of the ankle? Diagnosis of Baker's Cyst was done based on ultrasound of knee. I am concerned about the swelling particularly around my ankle of right foot--no swelling of left leg or ankle. Why is my right ankle swollen from a Baker's Cyst behind my right knee?
What is prognosis? Is it reasonable to expect the Cyst to dissipate within next two months?
Expert:  DrRussMD replied 6 years ago.
This is why I have suggested repeat ultrasound, not only to look at the progress but to rule out a clot in the vein, which might be missed right now.
If the cyst has extended into the structure of the leg then this needs further evaluation.
2 months to clear any of this up enough is going to be pushing things so I suggest seeing an orthopedist tomorrow.
If simple drainage is needed, followed by some therapy, prognosis should be fine.
If there is a clot, anticoagulation will be indicated, and should not interfere with your trip.
Good luck again
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I was told that the Cyst ruptured and that synovial fluid was draining into my ankle. The ultrasound was repeated to confirm that there was no clot.
An orthopedist suggested knee replacement.Is this necessary? Assuming my swelling is caused by a ruptured Cyst, how long does it normally take for the swelling to dissipate? I do not want surgery to replace my knee at this stage. I want to know what happens once a Baker's Cyst ruptures?
Expert:  DrRussMD replied 6 years ago.
Knee replacement would not be indicated unless you have severe arthritis in the knee.
If the cyst is associated with this, then knee replacement is indicated.
And if the arthritis is severe enough then the cyst might be chronic.
You should discuss this with your surgeon at this point as it is possible that drainage of the cyst might or might not help.
This might be tried first, but it is apparent from your most recent description that you might need surgery.
good luck again
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Please tell me what happens when a Baker's Cyst ruptures?
Expert:  DrRussMD replied 6 years ago.
It spreads fluid down the tissues of the leg, exactly as you have experienced.

It can often be confused with clot...the clot would be dangerous, the cyst is not.
Since you have had clot ruled out, the cyst will probably need drainage or the fluid will become chronic, as will be the case if the joint is too damaged.

Even if the joint is OK, sometimes surgery to take out the cyst is recommended.
From the mayo clinic:
"n some instances, particularly if you have osteoarthritis, the cyst may not go away even after your doctor treats the underlying cause. If the cyst doesn't get better, causes pain and interferes with your ability to bend your knee, or if — in spite of aspirations — fluid in the cyst recurs and hinders knee function, you may need to be evaluated for surgery to remove the cyst. "

Good luck once again
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
there is no way to determine the prognosis of a ruptured Baker's Cyst? The mayo clinic publication suggests home remedies such as elevation and aspirin, etc. Is aspirin as good an antinflammatory as ibufrofen? Are there any medical specialists other than orthopedic surgeons who might be able to help me?
Expert:  DrRussMD replied 6 years ago.
Ibuprofen is as good as aspirin or better but will not cure the cyst.
A physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor can help with physical therapy and improving the joint function...this might help.
He/she might at the same time drain this for you and would be non-surgery oriented.
good luck
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
How does the body normally get rid of synovial fluid from a baker's Cyst? Is the fluid absorbed by blood vessels?
Expert:  DrRussMD replied 6 years ago.
Hello, the fluid will eventually move from the tissues into the lymph system and then back into the blood stream.
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