Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis
(DISH) is a form of degenerative arthritis characterized by excessive bone growth along the sides of the vertebrae of the spine. Also known as Forestier disease
, DISH causes stiffness in the upper back, and may also affect the neck and lower back. Some people experience DISH-associated inflammation and calcification (bone growth) at other areas of the body where tendons and ligaments attach to bone, such as at the heels, ankles, hips, shoulders, elbows, knees and hands. The exact cause of DISH remains unknown, although risk factors such as age, gender, long-term use of certain medications and chronic health conditions have been identified. Source: Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD), supported by ORDR-NCATS and NHGRI.