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Forestier's Disease

Forestier's Disease Definition

Also known as Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH), Forestier's disease is the hardening of the tendons and ligaments that commonly affects the spine. Some people may experiences Forestier's disease beyond the spine since it can also affect tendons and ligaments in the heels, ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, elbows and hands.

Forestier's Disease Diagnosis

Doctors begin with a physical examination to diagnose if the individual has DISH or Forestier's disease. Any pain felt when pressure is applied on the spine can be a clue of the condition. In order to confirm the condition, x-rays of the upper back will be required. CT scan and MRI may also be helpful in diagnosing Forestier's disease and can rule out conditions that may cause similar signs and symptoms.

Forestier's Disease Symptoms and Signs

The disease often does not cause signs and symptoms but stiffness and pain along the affected ligaments may be experienced. Difficulty in swallowing or a hoarse voice may also be experienced if DISH occurs in the neck. DISH is also most common among adults and men.

Forestier's Disease Treatment

There is no known existing cure for Forestier's disease. Though no treatment is required in many cases, the doctor may recommend treatments to control pain and maintain range of motion in affected joints if symptoms are experienced. The use of Tylenol and NSAIDs, as well as inflammatory drugs, may be prescribed to treat pain. Exercise may be recommended to address stiffness. Surgery on the other hand is performed in rare cases where severe complications are experienced. Pressure on the spinal cord may be relieved thru surgery.

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