swelling Behind Knee

Swelling Behind The Knee

There are a number of different causes of swelling behind the knee.

The most common is a Bakers Cyst where there is inflammation of the popliteal bursa at the back of the knee.

Sometimes there is back of knee swelling and pain, other times there is a lump behind the knee but no pain associated with it. It might be that only one knee is swollen, or there may be swelling behind both knees.

Most times when the back of the knee is swollen, it can be treated with a combination of rest, regular ice, compression bandages, exercises and physical therapy, but some case may require knee surgery.

Doctor For Swollen Knee Treatment in Pune, India

What Causes Swelling Behind The Knee?

There are a number of different causes of swelling behind the knee. In most cases, back of knee swelling is caused by a build-up of fluid or an abnormal growth in the popliteal space – the soft area at the back of the knee.

Here we look at five common causes of swelling behind the knee, the causes and symptoms of each, how to tell whether it’s something serious and the best ways to treat causes of swelling behind the knee.


Swollen Knee Treatment

When it comes to looking at the best treatment options for swelling behind the knee, it will depend on part as to what the underlying cause of the swelling is. But in most cases, swollen knee treatment will start with a combination of:

  • RICE: Rest, Ice Compression & Elevation
  • Steroid Injections
  • Aspiration
  • Medication

You can find out loads more about these and other possible options in the Swollen Knee Treatment article.


  1. The most common cause of swelling behind the knee is a Baker’s Cyst

  2. If there is back of knee pain and swelling following a sporting injury, suspect a calf tear, particularly in middle aged men or if there was a “popping” noise at the time of injury.

  3. Swelling behind the knee that is accompanied by bruising and a palpable dip is likely a gastrocnemius tear.

  4. People with knee arthritis who develop back of knee swelling most likely have a Baker’s Cyst.

  5. A lump behind the knee that pulsates or throbs is typically a popliteal aneurysm.

  6. Pain and swelling behind the knee or calf accompanied by redness and warmth could indicate a DVT and warrants immediate medical attention.

  7. A lump behind the knee that is over 5cm and getting larger should be evaluated promptly to rule out sarcoma.

  8. Swelling behind the knee no pain is likely to be a popliteal aneurysm or small Baker’s Cyst.

  9. Back of knee swelling with pain may be a large popliteal cyst, gastrocnemius tear, or more rarely a DVT or synovial sarcoma.

  10. If you suspect a DVT or sarcoma, seek immediate medical assistance.

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