We reviewed retrospectively the MR images of eight histologically proved cases of myositis ossificans and correlated the MR appearance with the histologic findings, as well as with other radiologic studies. Patients with available MR images were chosen from a group of 326 cases in our radiologic archives of histologically proved and radiologically correlated myositis ossificans. In addition to MR images, all patients had plain radiographs, six had CT scans, and two had arteriograms. On T2-weighted spin-echo MR, the lesions were relatively well defined and inhomogeneous and had intermediate to high signal intensity. The latter corresponded to a central proliferating core of fibroblasts and myofibroblasts with a myxoid stroma resembling nodular fasciitis, rimmed by osteoblasts with bone production. Edema surrounded lesions less than a few months old. T1-weighted images of early lesions were normal or showed evidence of a mass by displacement of fat planes. Hemorrhage and fluid-fluid levels were seen in one lesion of intermediate duration. Mature lesions tended to be well defined with inhomogeneous signal intensity, similar to that of fat, representing areas of fat situated between bone trabeculae within the lesion. We present the MR appearance of myositis ossificans and correlate it with other radiologic studies and the histologic findings. The varying appearance of myositis ossificans relates to the histologic changes that occur as the disorder progresses. Knowledge of the MR appearance of myositis ossificans is important in that the lesion has many of the MR imaging characteristics frequently associated with malignancy.