Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) is a noninflammatory spine disease characterised by paravertebral ligament ossification. Over the course of a year, researchers conducted a cross-sectional study to look at the frequency, related morbidity, and healthcare utilisation of DISH patients at our university hospital. From 2005 to 2015, our university’s spinal radiograph database was examined for “DISH,” or “diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis.” DISH was diagnosed by two board-certified radiologists based on radiographs of the cervical, thoracic, or lumbar spine. Patients from 2015 were investigated further in terms of demographics, comorbidities, and healthcare treatments. Two authors reread their spinal radiographs. Patients were divided into two groups: those who met the Resnick criteria for DISH (group A) and those who did not meet the criteria but had radiographic features consistent with DISH (group B). Variables were described using means and proportions. The t test and the 2 tests were employed to compare groups. DISH was listed as a diagnosis in 3439 radiological reports between 2005 and 2015. In 2015, 195 individuals were diagnosed with DISH, with 153 in group A, 41 in group B, and 2 receiving incorrect diagnoses. Chronic back discomfort was widespread, and it was reported more frequently in group B than in group A. Significant numbers of individuals required opioid pain medicines, spine surgery, and consultations with other experts for regional pain.

Despite being often seen as asymptomatic, diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis is a diagnosis with considerable morbidity. Although there may be numerous confounders, the majority of DISH patients experienced persistent back pain, and a substantial proportion required spinal surgery. Future study is required to comprehensively measure DISH patients’ healthcare utilisation.