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Child Orthopedics
Spine - Cervical
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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I've been having knee pain that starts around my kneecap and goes straight to the back of my knee. Somebody told me it's probably a Baker's cyst. How do I find out?

A Baker's cyst can cause a pain pattern of this type. But so can patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS). And it's possible to have both a Baker's cyst and PFPS. An orthopedic surgeon can examine you and determine the cause of your symptoms. A Baker's cyst is a benign cyst behind the knee. It is named for a surgeon from the late 1800s. Dr. Baker was the first one to describe this problem. The cyst is a sac of synovial fluid that has leaked out of the joint. It is considered benign because it doesn't spread or cause death. But it can be very painful and limit joint motion. Diagnosis is confirmed by ultrasound and/or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) refers to pain around and under the patella (knee cap). Males and females of all ages from teens on up can be plagued by this problem. Athletes are especially affected. But the cause of the problem still remains a mystery of sorts. We know that an increased Q-angle is part of the problem. An increased Q-angle means the patella is being pulled laterally (away from the other leg). This alters the way the patella tracks up and down over the femur. The result is increased stress on the patellofemoral joint.


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