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U.S. News & World Report: Understanding Knee Cysts


A KNEE CYST, ALSO KNOWN as a popliteal cyst, is a fluid-filled lump that usually causes swelling behind the knee. The condition can lead to a feeling of tightness around the knee. It can also result in restricted movement of the leg.

The knee cyst can become painful when a person attempts to bend or extend the knee – which is problematic since these are required movements for walking. But knowing what to look for and when to seek treatment are essential factors in ensuring that knee cysts don’t prevent people from living otherwise active and healthy lives.

Knee cysts typically don't pop up out of nowhere. This condition usually results from another problem that affects the knee joint, such as a cartilage injury, arthritis or another inflammatory disease. So, treating the primary source of the problem can often lessen or eradicate the knee cyst symptoms. Even though a knee cyst may not lead to any long-term damage, it can cause a lot of discomfort to the person dealing with one.

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