Wednesday 26 November 2014

MRIs, navicular and pie in the sky

Most of you already know that the vast majority of horses who come here have been diagnosed with a lameness which blocks to the palmar hoof.
On MRI this typically presents as inflammation of the navicular bursa with DDFT, collateral or impart ligament damage - often with associated navicular and coffin bone damage. If only x-rays are available then bone damage is visible but not tendon or ligament damage (however research shows that soft tissue damage is going to exist as its always a precursor to navicular bone damage).

Historically this type of condition has been described as degenerative but - for reasons I have blogged about before in this post: Surprise, surprise, not really a degenerative disease after all (which is one of the most popular I've ever written!) -  I've long had my doubts about this.
I described in that post how follow-up MRIs and x-rays in the few horses who have had them AFTER rehab showed encouraging signs of healed tissue and bone damage. Unfortunately till now its not been possible to perform many of these as the cost is prohibitive.

However - and this is where the pie in the sky comes in - recently I've been talking to some veterinary professionals about the possibility of a new research project - this time looking at repeating MRIs on our ex-rehab horses and comparing them with the MRIs done before they came for rehab.
Its possible - just possible - that we may be able in time to get funding for this as the cost of follow-up MRIs is much lower provided they are done by the same centres. There are lots of obstacles to overcome and its by no means certain that we will be able to get it off the ground but myself and the owners of the horses are as keen as mustard so its just a question of getting veterinary and academic backing...Fingers crossed!


Rebecca Wyatt, PBHT III said...

Yes, we DO need follow-up radiographs and MRIs to show that navicular "disease" can be reversed. Why does this not yet exist, or at least where I can find it?

Anonymous said...

Keeping fingers crossed right along with you!

Andrea said...

That would be amazing!!!

Horses and other general ramblings said...

Great news!

AmandaB said...

This would be fantastic and really great for the doubting Thomases !