CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 · J Knee Surg Rep 2016; 02(01): e4-e7
DOI: 10.1055/s-0036-1597139
Case Report
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

“Baker's Cyst”–Induced Above-Knee Amputation

Michael Christian Liebensteiner1, Thomas Auckenthaler1, Andreas Frech2, Lydia Posch2, Gustav Fraedrich2, Peter Wilhelm Ferlic1
  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Innsbruck Medical of University, Innsbruck, Austria
  • 2Department of Vascular Surgery, Innsbruck Medical of University, Innsbruck, Austria
Further Information

Publication History

17 February 2016

05 September 2016

Publication Date:
31 January 2017 (eFirst)


We report a 65-year-old man who presented with a necrotic fifth toe, incipient phlegmon and hypesthesia of the right foot, a swollen lower leg, and a palpable popliteal mass. An occlusion of the popliteal artery secondary to a Baker's cyst was found to have caused protracted ischemia and the abovementioned symptoms. Despite several endovascular and open-surgery procedures to restore perfusion of the limb, the patient eventually had to undergo above-knee amputation.

It might be speculated whether earlier surgery would have preserved the patient's limb. Whereas the traditional procedure of open resection of the Baker's cyst has been associated with high recurrence rates, the condition can be treated effectively and safely today by means of arthroscopic surgery. We believe that arthroscopic interventions should at least be performed in the following instances: (1) in patients with recurrent symptoms of a Baker's cyst after previous treatment of the intra-articular pathology and previous aspiration of the cyst and (2) in patients with incipient sequelae that indicate relevant compression of neurovascular structures of the popliteal fossa (pseudothrombophlebitis, intermittent claudication, neuropathy).