Standing MRI for surgical planning of equine fracture repair

Vet Surg. 2019 Nov;48(8):1372-1381. doi: 10.1111/vsu.13272. Epub 2019 Jul 3.


Objective: To report the feasibility of standing MRI (sMRI) and document the value of sMRI in surgical planning for surgical repair of limb fractures in the horse.

Study design: Retrospective case series.

Animals: Thirty-one horses with preoperative sMRI.

Methods: Medical records were reviewed for fracture type, application of a polyester cast, sMRI sequences performed, technical variables, and image quality. Fracture geometry and concomitant lesions were compared between sMRI and radiography. The relative value of sMRI with regard to surgical planning was classified as minor (sMRI did not provide additional findings), intermediate (additional lesions found or slight modification to surgical plan), or major (sMRI led to significant alternations in surgical plan).

Results: Standing MRI provided good studies in all horses. Standing MRI was classified as having major relevance in 12 of 31 horses, intermediate relevance in 14 of 31 horses, and minor relevance in 5 of 31 horses.

Conclusion: Preoperative sMRI produced good studies in all horses and influenced the surgical planning in the majority of fractures in this study. Application of a polyester cast seemed to improve comfort without appreciable loss of image quality.

Clinical significance: Standing MRI can be considered as an adjunct to plan the repair of equine fractures, and a polyester cast does not impair image quality.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Casts, Surgical / classification
  • Casts, Surgical / veterinary
  • Extremities / diagnostic imaging
  • Extremities / pathology
  • Female
  • Fracture Fixation, Internal / veterinary*
  • Fractures, Bone / diagnostic imaging
  • Fractures, Bone / surgery
  • Fractures, Bone / veterinary*
  • Horse Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Horse Diseases / surgery*
  • Horses / injuries*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / veterinary*
  • Male
  • Radiography / veterinary
  • Retrospective Studies