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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis


* Not a rare disease
Other Names for this Disease
  • Ankylosing vertebral hyperostosis with tylosis
  • DISH
  • DISH Forestier's disease
  • Forestier disease
  • Forestier-Rotes disease
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Your Question

I am 52 years old.  I have had this illness for almost ten years. I had anterior neck surgery in 2008 and posterior neck surgery in 2009, with four titanium screws. May I ask you to help me or to guide me so I can treat this illness?  Because of this illness I lost everything. I am now totally disabled.

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

How might diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) be treated?

While there's no cure for diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis, there are options available to help reduce the pain and manage the stiffness which may be associated with this condition.[1]

Treatment for pain caused by diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis is similar to that of other joint ailments. Pain relievers, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) may be of some benefit. More severe pain can be treated with corticosteroid injections.[2][1]
Staying active and getting regular exercise may help to reduce the symptoms of diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis. Walking, swimming, stretching and yoga are good exercises for managing the symptoms of diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis.[2][1] 

Physical therapy can reduce the stiffness associated with diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis. Exercises may also increase range of motion in the joints.[2][1]

Surgery may be required in rare cases when diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis causes severe complications. People who experience difficulty swallowing due to large bone spurs in the neck may need surgery to remove the bone spurs. Surgery may also relieve pressure on the spinal cord caused by diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis.[1]

Last updated: 7/13/2011