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Usually, an ultrasound is able to provide sufficient imaging to diagnose a ruptured Baker's cyst. If so, an MRI is not necessary for decisions regarding care and management of the Baker's cyst. However, a Baker's cyst develops because of inflammation in the knee, and if there is any question about the condition of the knee, it may be necessary to obtain an MRI to image the internal structures of the knee.
Management of the ruptured Baker's cyst is usually by conservative management, including interventions to control swelling, such as ice and compression of the leg and knee, e.g. with an ACE bandage, along with oral anti-inflammatory medicines, such as ibuprofen or naproxen. If there is significant inflammation in the knee joint, then the doctor may decide to inject steroids into the knee, but this is usually not necessary.
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