Meniscal Cyst, Causes, Signs, Diagnosis, and Treatment

The meniscus is a tendon pack that works as a shock absorber, provides stress transmission, absorbs lubrication, and provides nutrition to the knee. A meniscal cyst is a mixture of joint fluid produced by a tear within the meniscus tendon and the joint pad over the knee. It mostly has no symptoms. It takes place when synovial fluid becomes enclosed, often secondary to a meniscal tear. They are mostly uncommon occurrences that cause pain and disability in the knee.


  • The cyst of the medial meniscus is usually present on the posterior side of the posterior horn.
  • The lateral meniscus is present with the anterior/anterolateral side of the anterior horn or the body.


The frequency of these cysts is a matter of controversy. In general, they are thought to present 5% in the knee.


They are mostly seen with meniscal tears. That occurred because of degenerative changes within the meniscus. It may be related to an injury to the knee (turning or bending injury). Given the regularity of meniscus tears, related cysts are uncommon. It mainly occurs in 20 to 40 years old males. There are some causes, including:

  • Trauma
  • Hemorrhage
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Chronic infection
  • Mucoid degeneration
  • Expulsion of synovial fluid

Risk Factors

It includes:

  • Previous knee injury or meniscus injury.
  • particularly ligament injuries.
  • Rotating, turning sports, in which the menisci can be torn.

Signs And Symptoms

There are some symptoms of it:

  • Asymptomatic.
  • Weakness or disability.
  • Pain:

Particularly when standing on the affected leg.

  • Stiffness along the joint of the knee.
  • The immovable harm at the site of the cyst, more commonly over the outer part of the knee.
  • The cyst may become more apparent as the knee is extended.


Diagnosis is usually shown by inspection and palpation of a different mass present over a medial or lateral joint line. It is attested by MRI, which offers both the cyst and the related meniscus tear. This condition should not be related to a “baker’s cyst”. Baker’s cyst is a collection of fluid that is most commonly present on the inside of the back of the knee. When the knee pain treatments in Richardson become swollen under any condition, fluid can extend this space and form a cyst.

A particular test used to diagnose it:

1- MRI

This test can confirm the diagnosis and set up the size and location of the wound. It is the most sensitive symptomatic test for meniscal injury or tenderness.

2- Ultrasound

It can help visualize the cyst and guide aspiration, in which a needle is placed into the cyst to draw out its content.

3- Radiographs

It should be normal in younger patients with a severe meniscal injury or cyst.

4- Findings

  • Cyst with bright T2 signal.
  • Necrotic tissue, nerve sheath tissue, and pus would all be able to look like cysts on T2-weighted MRIs.
  • IV contrast improvement may be needed.


If incidental or minor symptomatic, treatment may need random icing and anti-inflammatory medicine. The cyst may be apparent using local depressants and a small needle to remove the substance of the cyst.


1: Rest, NSAIDS, Rehabilitation.

  • Specify as the first choice of treatment for small Parameniscal cysts.
  • Trial of clinical treatment to observe patients’ pain reaction.
  • May be efficient in a population with degenerative tears.

2: Aspiration and steroid injection.

  • Isolated baker cysts in a young patient.
  • Cyst drainage.
  • Ultrasound-guided injection into the cyst.
  • Poor results in older degenerative meniscal tears with related cysts.


1: Cyst Decompression, Arthroscopic Debridement, And Meniscal Resection.

  • Parameniscal cyst with a related tear that cannot repair (e.g., complex, degenerative, radial tear patterns).
  • Decompress cyst completely.
  • Perform partial meniscectomy.
  • An incomplete meniscal incision may lead to a repeat.

2: Cyst Excision Using An Open Posterior Approach.

  • Symptomatic Parameniscal cysts.
  • An incomplete surgical process may lead to repetition.
  • Curved cut over the popliteal fossa.
  • Sharp dissection of cyst margins to the joint capsule.


Surgery to remove it is very rarely needed. Arthroscopy to remove such cysts is the conclusion. Arthroscopy, a tiny camera, is introduced into the knee pain joint, and other small openings are made to allow instruments to be led into the joint. During arthroscopy, the torn meniscus is surgically removed. The cyst may be removed surgically at that time by making an opening over it and cutting it off. Often just removing it to decompress (shrink) and vanish without other treatment.

When Can You Return To Your Support Or Activity?

Although meniscus cyst does not “cure”, they may become symptomless over time, especially with activity limitation. If the cyst has no symptoms, there is no reason one cannot take part in activities. If surgery is performed to find the meniscus and relax the cyst, the patient may be able to return to action as early as three weeks post-operatively.

Recoveries are different and depend on many things. But here is some timing for returning to activities.

1: Activity

Bear weight (put weight on your knee while standing or walking).

  • Simple meniscectomy: right away, as tolerated.
  • Meniscus repair surgery: right away, but only with a brace.

2: Activity

Walk without crutches.

  • Simple meniscectomy: 2 to 7 days.
  • Meniscus repair surgery: 4 to 6 weeks.

3: Activity

Drive if the injured leg is to be used for gas and brake or clutch.

  • Simple meniscectomy:

1 to 2 weeks if you have recovery movements with minimal pain. You are not taking opioids.

  • Meniscus repair surgery: 4 to 6 weeks.

4: Activity

Return to heavy work or sports.

  • Uncomplicated meniscectomy: 4 to 6 weeks.

Suppose you have regained motion and strength. Your knee is not swollen or in discomfort.

  • Meniscus repair surgery: 3 to 6 months:

How Can A Meniscal Cyst Be Prevented?

There are no confirmed means by which cysts can specifically be prevented but the following are observed to be helpful.

  • Maintaining good fitness and conditioning can control injury to the exposed knee.
  • Athletes should wear proper protective stuff.
  • Make sure the correct fit, including the proper length support for the surface.

Is walking well during meniscus cyst:

A torn meniscus mainly occurred severe pain in the knee.

The pain mostly is harmful during twisting or bending movements.

In the end, the torn meniscus has locked the knee. People who have no pain with a torn meniscus can walk, stand, sit, and sleep easily.

Time takes a meniscus cyst to recover without surgery:

Meniscus tears are the most often treated knee harm.

Recovery time for about 6 to 8 weeks if your meniscus tear is treated without surgery.