Forestier’s Disease

Question

Can you tell me about this disease?

Answer

Forestier’s Disease (described by Dr. Forestier- who else?)or Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis (DISH syndrome)is a disease characterized by new bone formation in the thoracic and thoracolumbar spine resulting in large bulky osteophytes (spurs) particularly on the right side of the spine. On x-ray, the osteophytes look like candle drippings on the edge of the spine. The osteophytes are often very characteristic, starting at the margins of the vertebral body and look very different than the thin osteophytes of the B27 diseases. Unfortunately, the result is often spinal fusion (ankylosis), disability and pain. It occurs mostly in the elderly, and is associated with glucose intolerance and obesity. Its cause is unknown. There is no known “disease modifying therapy”. Physical therapy and pain control help to maintain function.

Alan Matsumoto, M.D.

About Alan Matsumoto, M.D.

Part-time Faculty, Division of Rheumatology
Johns Hopkins University