What is the pathophysiology of cystic lesions of the knee?

Updated: Dec 29, 2018
  • Author: David M Gonzalez, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Thomas M DeBerardino, MD  more...
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The pathophysiology of benign knee cysts depends on the specific etiology. Although at times controversial, the underlying causes of most cysts are similar; a benign cyst results whenever a saclike structure is formed secondary to a mechanical or biochemical irritant. A sac that already is present, such as an epithelial-lined bursa, is subject to the same irritants. These potential spaces then become filled with a fluid or with degenerative myxoid products. Over time, the cyst becomes mucoid and semisolid if resorption of the fluid is slow and if the fluid has a high protein content.

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