Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

What is Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis & How Does It Feel Like?

DISH known as Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis is a pathological condition characterized by calcification of ligaments around areas where these ligaments are attached to the spine. While in majority of the cases, Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis (DISH) does not cause any symptoms, there have been cases where this condition has caused certain symptoms but they have been mostly mild.

As there are no symptoms severe enough, there is no treatment as such formulated for Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis or DISH. At maximum, DISH tends to produce a stiff upper back along with pain in the back or neck. This condition can also affect the shoulders, elbows, and knees, although such instances are extremely rare.
Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis may not be an inflammatory condition but at times it tends to be progressive and may cause certain complications it if worsens. The stiffness in the back caused by Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis or DISH is most noticeable in the morning. In addition to the pain felt, there may also be restriction in range of motion of the back most noticeable when doing a side stretch. In some cases, Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis or DISH can also cause difficulty swallowing and a hoarseness of voice, especially if the ligaments attaching to the cervical spine become calcified as a result of DISH.

Is Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis Hereditary?

Is Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis Hereditary?

The root cause for the development of Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis or DISH is the build of calcium salts in the ligaments that are attached to the spines and abnormal new bone growth but why does this occur is something which the researchers are still not able to identify. It is widely believed by many researchers that the development of DISH is connected to abnormal activity of osteoblasts which are the bone forming cells in the areas where ligaments attach to the spine.

This abnormal activity of osteoblasts may have a genetic predisposition which tends to suggest that Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis may be hereditary but there are very few examples of an individual with DISH having direct relatives also diagnosed with Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis. The examples that are available also cannot clearly establish genetic makeup as a cause for the development of this condition in the family. Thus it can be said that there is no actual evidence to prove that Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis is hereditary, although it may be a factor which may cause abnormal activity in the bone forming cells causing calcification of the ligaments attaching to the spine causing Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis.

In conclusion, there is no substantial proof to suggest that Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis or DISH is a hereditary condition. However, researchers are of the opinion that certain genetic factors play a role in the abnormal activity of osteoblasts around the ligaments attaching to the spine which cause excessive calcium buildup which is the primary cause of DISH. Thus, while Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis is not hereditary, the genetic makeup of an individual does play a part in the development of the disease.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: September 17, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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