Baker's cyst in children

Popliteal cyst

A Baker's cyst is a fluid-filled lump that can develop behind your child's knee - we can help treat it

What is a Baker's cyst in children?

A Baker's cyst is a visible, fluid-filled lump which can form at the back of your child's knee. It happens when there is an extra build-up of fluid inside the bursa (small sac of fluid) between the calf and knee joint. Also known as popliteal cysts, they're quite common in boys between four to eight years old.

Need to know

  • What are the symptoms of a Baker's cyst in children? icon plus

    Usually, a child with a cyst will have no symptoms other than the visible lump at the back of their knee. This lump normally goes away on its own. In other cases, a Baker's cyst may lead to other symptoms, like:

    • a feeling of tightness behind the knee
    • a build-up of fluid around the knee
    • pain in the calf and knee
    • an ache in the knee
    • clicking in the knee
  • How is a baker's cyst diagnosed? icon plus

    Your GP or consultant will usually be able to make a diagnosis by discussing your child's symptoms and examining the cyst.

    They will let you know if they need to carry out further tests to rule out other conditions. Additional tests might include an MRI or ultrasound scan.
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    If your child's cyst isn't causing any symptoms, treatment may not be necessary, as the cyst will often go away on its own. Your GP or consultant may recommend over-the-counter medicines or advise you on how to treat the cyst at home. Depending on the nature of your child's cyst, your GP or consultant may recommend draining the cyst or surgery (if the cyst has caused any significant damage around the knee).

Our paediatric knee consultants

We're proud to work with leading orthopaedic experts specialising in managing knee problems in children, whose bone and ligaments are still changing and growing.

Our locations

From complex knee surgery in children to diagnostic imaging and physiotherapy, we provide exceptional orthopaedic care for children across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Request a knee appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced knee consultants. We can also make imaging and outpatient physiotherapy appointments for you.

Call us today

020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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