Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) describes a phenomenon characterized by a tendency toward ossification of ligaments. It most characteristically affects the spine. Ossification of the longitudinal ligaments of the spine produces a tortuous paravertebral mass anterior to and distinct from the vertebral bodies.
The prevalence may be as high as 20-30%. Elderly men are most commonly affected. It is uncommon in patients younger than 50 years and rare in patients younger than 40 years.
DISH is diagnosed when the characteristic flowing calcifications are detected with images of the spine, such as in plain film X-ray methods. (NSAIDs) Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications can be helpful in both relieving pain and inflammation of DISH. Treatment for pain caused by DISH is similar to that of other joint ailments.