Thursday, August 6, 2009

Riley's MRI -- Pix and a remedial explanation

The MRI report came in the mail yesterday -- a one page summary and two pictures with captions. The pix are reproduced below. You'll have to click on the images to view the enlarged versions.

This is the first MRI I've been in a position to care about or evaluate. This video from American Farrier's Journal helps to explain what is done for a hoof MRI -- I found it helpful...

Riley's Lateral view
The first view is a lateral view. I'm not 100% sure where the arrow is pointing unless it is a super-subtle haziness.

Riley's Cross-section
This is (I think) a horizontal cross section showing the perimeter of the hoof tip. Does this sound right? Anyhoo, it shows the bone loss and "defect" in the hoof tip with remarkable clarity.

The one page summary doesn't really say anything that hasn't already been said, but the verbiage suggests that there is active inflammation. I'd thought that we were clearing out old, dead tissue post-inflammation or at best low grade inflammation. Here's what I read about the subject...
"One of the most valuable features of MRI is its ability to detect inflammation in bone. Both fluid (e.g., bone edema) and sclerosis (e.g., increased bone density) are detectable with MRI; these findings are difficult to impossible to detect by radiography. Bone bruises, infection (Figure 11), subchondral damage due to joint disease, and bone remodeling can all be visualized with MRI before they are evident radiographically. Bone sclerosis with remodeling in young athletic horses is evidence of stress remodeling and, with clinical experience, allows early detection of bone injury before appearance of stress fractures on radiographs." From What a Difference an MRI Makes, Compendium Equine
These reports are often prepared without benefit of the hands-on evaluation by the field vet, so I'm not going to get too worked up. For once.


MRI My Horse from NC State U

Looking inside the hoof from

Visualization of the equine hoof from Orisix imaging

Inside MRI from America's Horse Daily


  1. H-m-m-m. I wonder if the damaged bone was actually causing the inflammation? If you think about it as the opposite of arthritis...a build up of bone/calcification...wouldn't damaged (Soft) bone possibly have a similar effect? Just thinking.

    The MRI's and digital x rays have remarkable clarity nowadays. Still, it takes a master's eye to read them. (Something I don't have, for sure.)

  2. I just wanted to extend my sympathy for you during all of this - you are being so brave. Also, thank you for sharing this ordeal in such depth - I am learning an enormous amount. Be strong!

  3. I don't know much about much. But I'm following all this medical stuff eagerly. Thanks for posting the pictures. Sounds like you're handling everything really well. Armani sends his get-well wishes to Riley. :)


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