Disease was first described in 1950, a neurologist from France. The disease is a pathological overproduction of bone tissue.
Ligamentous ossificans of the spine, or Forestier disease is a rare disease of the spine non-inflammatory nature, in which the spine, its ligaments and tendons, there are areas of ossification. They gradually expand, resulting in the development of complete immobility (ankylosis).
Is most often diagnosed in men after 50 years. These patients often have additional diseases – obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes.
It is a disease with still unknown reasons. There is speculation that this may be a natural aging process of connective tissue. It is believed that it could happen on the background of chronic intoxication with such infections, such as tuberculosis, tonsillitis, otitis, sinusitis.
Rare occurrence does not allow to study the disease full. Studies have shown that most often it affects big-boned men with the developed muscles and with the extra weight.
Basically pathology is developing in the area of the longitudinal ligament, which connects the anterior surface of the vertebrae, and the periosteum. Under certain conditions this bunch starts to produce bone tissue. Connective tissue is first replaced by the first in the cartilage, then bone.
Most often, the pathology occurs in several departments and affects the anterior surface of the vertebrae. There appear to be small growths, which gradually turn, completely blocking the movement of the spine. In the end, there is complete stillness.
Ossificans ligamentous the spine are more commonly found in the thoracic, in its Central part. Then there is the formation of bone tissue in the lower back and neck.
The first complaint is discomfort stiffness in the movements. Pain occurs rarely, and usually it is the minimum intensity. So the patient goes to a doctor and not immediately after the first symptoms.
In addition to pain and changes in the spine, can cause disorders in the elbows, shoulders, heels, pelvis. Gradually, the pain becoming longer and then become permanent.
Stiffness is expressed in the inability to make bends or turns back in the right direction. This often happens in the mornings or the evenings. Morning stiffness is explained very simply – because of prolonged immobility during sleep. And evening, on the contrary – because of the constant intense back strain and fatigue.
The increased stiffness is observed after exercise, and after a long stay in one position. As the progression of the disease, the stiffness increases. Gradually make any movement becomes impossible.
If you suffer from cervical, often have problems swallowing food. The appearance of ossification in the thoracic spine may form diverticula in the esophagus. Most often this is the reason for going to the doctor. Sometimes there is compression of the spinal cord and are starting to develop neurological disorders, and the symptoms fully comply with myelopathy.
As long as it is not known why it develops this disease, specific treatment is not available. To date, therapies is the subject of the search and research. To facilitate the patient’s condition, apply symptomatic treatment. First and foremost is the appointment of anti-inflammatory drugs from the group of NSAIDs – usually indomethacin, diclofenac, ibuprofen.
An additional therapy with the use of magnets, laser, baths, massage, and reflexology.
The severe pain is used for local therapy administered hydrocortisone and anesthetics. If necessary, puncture of joints, application of ointments, Dimexidum, the use of phonophoresis with hydrocortisone ointment.
Initially, the disease has a poor prognosis. From the beginning of first symptoms to the complete immobilization of the back runs from 4 to 9 years.