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Baker’s Cyst: What Are They? Who Suffers?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease, also referred to as systemic connectivity with elective joint localization, with an erosive, deforming character and with a chronic-progressive trend that affects approximately 1% of the world population.

This condition is characterized by the infiltration of neutrophils into the soft tissues which leads to hypertrophy of the joint capsule, synovium and tendon sheath, triggering the chronic inflammatory process in the individual [1].

In this case, the increase in the amount of synovial fluid forms the intra-articular pannus with consequent proliferation of the synovial tissue. The joints most affected are those of the knee with an incidence of 15% in rheumatic patients [3].

Among the various complications that RA brings with it, it is also responsible for the formation, in some cases, .

To better understand what Baker’s cyst is, it is appropriate to introduce the joint anatomy of the knee in a brief overview.

The knee joint is placed between the femur and tibia and is bounded by the synovial membrane, inside which the synovial fluid (or fluid) is contained. Synovial fluid acts as a lubricant: it prevents rubbing between the cartilages of the femur and tibia, and facilitates the movement of the tendons and ligaments of the knee. The latter, fundamental in allowing the movement of the leg and, at the same time, giving stability to the joint.

Baker’s cyst is a benign non-vascular lesion in the popliteal fossa (region of the limb located posterior to the knee), and is caused by an accumulation of trapped joint fluid, which protrudes from the joint capsule behind the knee as a protuberant sac.

Often, these cysts cause discomfort in the patient’s posterior knee region. Mostly they are asymptomatic and do not require specific treatment, however, symptomatic cysts may be subject to intra-articular injection of steroids, aspiration of the cysts or, in rare cases, intended for excision which can be performed surgically. [5]

A rapid increase in the amount and pressure of fluid in the cyst can cause it to rupture by promoting inflammation of surrounding tissues, mimicking symptoms of acute deep vein thrombosis, including painful calf swelling, erythema, severe calf pain followed by soreness of the affected area.

Damage to the knee joint, developed over the years, favors the formation of Baker’s cyst. Remedying these joint disorders, while not representing a specific cure for the cyst, helps to slow down the degeneration of the cyst itself.

For example, it is very useful to apply countermeasures that reduce inflammation and the overproduction of synovial fluid; liquid, which, as mentioned, is produced for defensive purposes in the presence of arthritis.

Therefore, knowing how to manage inflammation in rheumatic patients correctly and effectively could prevent the formation of such cysts, thus limiting any damage it could cause.

The measure adopted by iCareX against, not so much Baker’s cyst as a possible symptom of RA, but of the entire pathology is expressed by its exploRA product.

ExploRA, is the first transcriptomic test in the world that helps to understand and manage one’s disease, bringing the innovative technologies of precision medicine closer to Rheumatoid Arthritis.

 

References

 

1 Adiyeke L, Bılgın E, Duymus TM, Ketencı IE, Ugurlar M. Giant Baker cyst associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Rep Orthop Homes. 2017. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/4293104.

 

2 Kim JS, Lim SH, Hong BY, Park SY. Rupture of a popliteal cyst diagnosed by ultrasonography before evaluation for deep vein thrombosis. Ann Rehabil Med. 2014; 38 (6): 843-6.

 

3 Riente L, Delle Sedia A, Filippucci E, Scir’e CA, Iagnocco A, Gutierrez M, et al. Ultrasound for the rheumatologist XXVII. Ultrasound evaluation of the

knee in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Clin. Exp. Rheumatol. 2010; 28 (3): 300-3 Epub 2010 Jun 23. PMID: 20576224 [PubMed].

 

5 Angoules AG. Rupture of Baker’s cyst can simulate a deep vein thrombosis. Emerg Med. 2012; 2 (1). https://doi.org/10.4172/2165-7548.1000e108 He evaluated the patient with ultrasound and aspirated the fluid collection.

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