The post-care from having surgery on a Baker's cyst involves avoiding strenuous activity, keeping the knee propped up for a few days, prescribed pain medications and possibly physical therapy, according to the Cleveland Clinic. The surgery to drain a Baker's cyst can be simple and involve only a small incision.
Surgery is only used for a Baker's cyst when it does not respond to nonsurgical treatments and causes significant problems such as difficulty moving or serious pain, the Cleveland Clinic says. Treatments tried before surgery include rest, elevation of the leg, avoiding strain and physical therapy. Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, using a needle to drain the cyst and steroid injections are also possibilities. Failing to treat a baker's cyst can lead to a worsening of the condition or an internal bursting of the cyst. The fluid from a burst cyst is harmlessly reabsorbed by the body, but the cyst often reforms unless the underlying condition is dealt with.
A Baker's cyst is a soft lump filled with synovial fluid that forms behind the knee, according to the Cleveland Clinic. A cyst usually develops because of damage to the knee, whether from an injury or from arthritis. This cyst may be small and unobtrusive, but further strain makes it increase in size.