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The treatment for a popliteal (Baker's) cyst

Three Part Question

In [Adults with an intact Baker's cyst] does [adding cryotherapy to a physiotherapy treatment programme] further reduce [swelling and pain]

Clinical Scenario

A 53years old man is referred to physiotherapy with a painful, intact Baker's cyst. His knee is painful and swollen posteriorly, though not warm to the touch and has limited RoM of flexion and extension. In the absence of any firm treatment guidelines, you wonder if there is any additional benefit from using ICE and cryotherapy to reduce the popliteal swelling.

Search Strategy

MEDLINE 1966-01/05, CINAHL 1982 –01/05, AMED 1985-01/05, SPORTDiscus 1830-01/05, EMBASE 1996-01/05, via the OVID interface.
Medline, CINAHL, AMED, EMBASE, SPORTSDiscus: [{(exp ('Bakers cyst' OR exp popliteal cyst) AND (physical therapy OR physiotherapy OR electrotherapy OR cryotherapy)] LIMIT to human AND English language.
In addition the Cochrane database and PEDro database were also searched with search terms: [ bakers cyst OR popliteal cyst]

Search Outcome

There were no papers retrieved that answered the 3 part question.

Clinical Bottom Line

At present there are neither RCTs nor guidelines concerning treatment with physiotherapy for patients with a Baker's cyst.