• Presented at 2011 ACVR Scientific Meeting, Albuquerque, NM.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Mauricio Solano at the above address. E-mail:


Adhesions occur in the navicular bursa between the deep digital flexor tendon (DDFT) and other structures. Our objectives were to describe the appearance of navicular bursa adhesions on high-field magnetic resonance (MR) images, to compare these findings to findings at navicular bursoscopy, and to determine the prevalence of lesions in the remainder of the podotrochlear apparatus. Sixteen forelimbs from 14 horses that underwent MR imaging and navicular bursoscopy were evaluated. Adhesions were considered type 1 when characterized by a discontinuity in the navicular bursa fluid signal between two structures, type 2 when the navicular bursa fluid signal was disrupted and ill-defined tissue was present between two structures, and type 3 when the fluid signal was disrupted and well-defined tissue was present between two structures. Twenty-six adhesions were suspected on MR images and nineteen were visualized at surgery. The positive predictive value was 50% for type 1 adhesions, 67% for type 2 adhesions, and 100% for type 3 adhesions. Additional lesions were detected in the navicular bursa in 15 limbs, the DDFT in 13, the navicular bone in 15, the collateral sesamoidean ligaments in 9, and the distal sesamoidean impar ligament in 8. A discontinuity in the navicular bursa fluid signal with well-defined tissue between two structures detected on high-field MR images is diagnostic for a navicular bursa adhesion. Additional lesions in the podotrochlear apparatus are common in horses with navicular bursa adhesions.