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Article
July 24, 1943

POSTERIOR HERNIA OF THE KNEE: (BAKER'S CYST, POPLITEAL CYST, SEMIMEMBRANOSUS BURSITIS, MEDIAL GASTROCNEMIUS BURSITIS AND POPLITEAL BURSITIS)

Author Affiliations

Fellow in Orthopedic Surgery, Mayo Foundation ROCHESTER, MINN.

From the Section of Orthopedic Surgery, Mayo Clinic.

JAMA. 1943;122(13):858-861. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840300018005
Abstract

The differential diagnosis of benign and malignant popliteal tumors, aneurysms, varicosities, bursae and posterior perforations of the synovia of the knee joint frequently taxes the ability of the physician. This paper is based on a series of 15 cases in which popliteal cysts produced firm fixed masses and, in some instances, limitation of flexion of the knee and swelling in the popliteal space. Surgical intervention revealed that each of these cysts was connected directly with the knee joint through an opening in the posterior part of the capsule, usually along the lateral side of the medial condyle of the femur. We believe that these cysts are the result of (1 ) herniation of the synovial membrane through the posterior part of the capsule or (2) the escape of fluid through the normal anatomic connections of the knee joint into the bursae; that is, into the medial gastrocnemius or semimembranosus bursae. In

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