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Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis (DISH)

  • Category: Spine Conditions
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: DR. HAMID ABBASI
Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis (DISH)

Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis (DISH for short) is a spinal condition that leads to the development of bone spurs in the spine. In this article, we are going to talk about the signs, symptoms and causes of diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis – as well as some options for treating this spinal condition.

What is Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis?

Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis is a condition in which the spinal ligaments begin to harden or calcify and create bone spurs. DISH most commonly impacts the upper back, but it can also occur in the neck, low back, and other areas of the body (though these are less common).

In some cases of DISH, patients present with no symptoms at all. Other times, patients with DISH can experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Pain in the back
  • Stiffness in the back or neck
  • Loss of mobility (the ability to twist & turn your back)
  • Sore throat or loss of voice

The specificity of your symptoms will depend on where exactly the DISH develops and the conditions progression. In its early stages, DISH typically has mild symptoms and requires no treatment. As it progresses, however, it can cause a host of additional complications and should be addressed by a spine specialist.

How to Treat DISH?

There is no definitive cure for diffuse idiopathic hyperostosis, so most treatment methods are aimed at managing the patient’s symptoms. That can be accomplished with over-the-counter NSAIDs (Tylenol, ibuprofen), or prescription pain killers. Physical therapy, exercising, and cortisone injections can also be used to reduce back pain. If the bone spurs begin to compress the nerves of the spine, or lead to swallowing trouble, surgery to remove the bone spurs may be necessary.

The revolutionary minimally invasive keyhole surgery techniques pioneered by Inspired Spine can be used to treat DISH when surgery is necessary. Compared to other spine surgeries currently used, Inspired Spine procedures offer less pain and hospital time, and quicker recoveries. Contact us to learn more about these procedures.