Computed tomographic evaluation of Finnhorse cadaver forefeet with radiographically problematic findings on the flexor aspect of the navicular bone

Ruohoniemi M, Tervahartiala P.

Vet Radiol Ultrasound 1999;40:275-281.

Computed tomography (CT) was performed on 12 Finnhorse cadaver forefeet with known radiographic changes in the navicular bone (poor corticomedullary junction, irregular appearance of the flexor central eminence, uneven or unequal thickness of the flexor cortex, and/or irregular outline of the proximal or distal flexor margin). The purpose was to confirm the radiographic findings and to investigate if further information of the flexor aspect of the bone could be gained with CT. In CT, the midsagittal outline as well as the internal structure of the bones varied greatly. Different combinations of trabecular and compact bone were seen within the flexor central eminence. Lucencies within the compact bone were commonly present in the proximal half of the eminence, but in five bones lucencies were also identified in the distal half. Due to partial overlapping of the bone and varying bony composition of the eminence, accurate radiographic evaluation of the shape and internal structure of the flexor central eminence was often found to be difficult. The flexor cortex usually appeared to be thinner in CT than in conventional radiographs. Medullary sclerosis and poor flexor corticomedullary junction were commonly overinterpreted radiographically. New bone formation on the proximal flexor margin of the navicular bone was generally visualized in radiographs, but CT allowed also the evaluation of the internal structure of the bone. In one navicular bone, an avulsion fragment on the distal flexor margin was seen in CT images; radiographically this fragment could not be visualized. It was concluded that the flexor aspect of the navicular bone may be difficult to assess reliably with conventional radiography.