Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy

, Volume 14, Issue 7, pp 623–628

The popliteal cyst


    • Département de ChirurgieHôpitaux Universitaires de Genève
  • Jean Fasel
    • Division d’AnatomieCentre Médical Universitaire de Genève
  • Jean-Claude Imbert
    • Clinique Digonnière
  • Stefano Bianchi
    • Département de RadiologieHôpitaux Universitaires de Genève
  • René Verdonk
    • Kliniek voor Orthopedie
  • Carl Joachim Wirth
    • Orthopädische KlinikMedizinische Hochschule Hannover

DOI: 10.1007/s00167-005-0028-z

Cite this article as:
Fritschy, D., Fasel, J., Imbert, J. et al. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthr (2006) 14: 623. doi:10.1007/s00167-005-0028-z


A popliteal cyst, originally called Baker’s cyst, is a synovial fluid-filled mass located in the popliteal fossa. The most common synovial popliteal cyst is considered to be a distension of the bursa located beneath the medial head of the gastrocnemius muscle. Usually, in an adult patient, an underlying intra-articular disorder is present. In children, the cyst can be isolated and the knee joint normal. The anatomy, etiopathogenesis, clinical presentation, differential diagnosis, imaging and treatment modalities of the popliteal cyst are presented. The authors try to answer some questions dealing with this condition. Is the cyst isolated, can it be treated as such, is its origin always well-defined and does surgical excision provide a permanent cure?


Popliteal cystBaker’s cystSynovial cystKnee pathologySwelling of the knee

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005