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Symptom Checker

Step 4: Read and complete the decision guide to learn more about your symptoms.

Persistent Knee Swelling

Okay. That makes a Baker's cyst more likely. A Baker's cyst is a collection of fluid between several tendons just behind the knee. Because of the anatomy, fluid from the knee often moves into this space behind the knee and gets trapped there, causing pain and swelling. Sometimes there is marked swelling in the leg below the knee because the cyst ruptures or because it blocks the veins. The key in treating a Baker's cyst is to figure out why fluid was collecting in the knee in the first place -- examples of conditions that may lead to a Baker's cyst including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and reactive arthritis.

The next question is about the time of day when your symptoms are worse. This is important because knee inflammation tends to be worse in the morning while conditions associated with less inflammation tend to be worse at the end of the day. The presence or absence of inflammation is helpful to narrow down the cause of swelling.

Is your knee pain and swelling worse in the morning?

Yes, my knee pain is worse in the morning.

No, my knee pain is not worse in the morning.

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