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Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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Patient's history, clinical investigation and imaging can be used to differentiate popliteal cysts from other diseases (1)

  • ultrasound is regarded as a diagnostic tool for ruptured popliteal cysts (3) and can also noninvasively detect calf or thigh extensions of the cysts and thrombosis of the veins (2)
  • MRI - if assessment of the internal knee structures are required (1). This is becoming the imaging technique of choice. (4)

Popliteal cysts found incidentally which are asymptomatic do not require treatment (2).

In patients with symptomatic popliteal cysts:

  • bed rest and simple analgesics may be required initially (2)
  • identifying and proper treatment of the underlying condition may resolve the condition in most adults (1)
  • needle aspiration of the joint effusion and subsequent injection of steroids into the cyst may help (1)

In patients whose cysts remains symptomatic despite treatment of the underlying condition or without an origin, surgical removal of the cyst can be considered (2)


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