Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) appears to be increasingly used, in addition to standard ultrasonography for the diagnosis of abnormalities in utero. Previous studies have recently drawn attention to the technical refinement of MRI to visualize the fetal bones and muscles. Beyond commonly used T2-weighted MRI, echoplanar, thick-slab T2-weighted and dynamic sequences, and three-dimensional MRI techniques, are about to provide new imaging insights into the normal and the pathological musculoskeletal system of the fetus. This review emphasizes the potential significance of MRI in the visualization of the fetal musculoskeletal system. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.