What Are Osteophytes?

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

  • Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Ask the experts

I have diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis and was recently told I have more exuberant osteophyte formation. What is this, and how is it treated?

Doctor's response

In persons with diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH), there is a tendency to develop inflammation at the insertion points of tendons and ligaments into bone. This inflammation can lead to the formation of "new bone" at these insertions. The new bony prominences are referred to as osteophytes. The treatment of DISH is directed at minimizing inflammation, often with antiinflammatory medications.

For more information, please see MedicineNet.com's diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis article.

Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care


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Reviewed on 7/21/2017