[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
August 8, 1966

Dissecting Popliteal Cyst Is Often Misdiagnosed

JAMA. 1966;197(6):37. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110060017005

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


Patients with arthritis of the knee may occasionally have a dissecting popliteal cyst simulating other pathological conditions.

In a group of seven such patients, described at the annual meeting in Denver of the American Rheumatism Association, five had symptoms suggesting deep vein thrombophlebitis; the 6th appeared to have acute synovitis; and the 7th, a 55-year-old man with a cyst dissecting upward into the thigh, had symptoms suggesting sciatic neuritis.

Excellent Responses  Acute dissection of the cysts resulted in chronic rheumatoid calf cysts in 2 of these 7 patients. Nevertheless, all patients had excellent symptomatic responses to therapy that included intra-articular injections of corticosteroids, commented P. Kahler Hench, MD, Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, La Jolla, California.

Early Consideration  The possibility of a dissecting popliteal cyst should be considered early in patients with arthritis and calf inflammation of unknown etiology.Swelling, tenderness, and inflammation associated with a positive Homans' sign (usually