Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 22 Jun 2022

Enthesophytes (less commonly, enthesiophytes) are bony proliferations (spurs) that develop at an enthesis, that is at the attachment of a ligament, tendon or articular capsule onto bone. They are oriented along the direction of pull and develop in response to repetitive mechanical stress or a more generalized inflammatory condition.

They may be mistaken for osteophytes and are seen more commonly in patients that have many or large osteophytes (bone-formers) 4.

  • syndesmophyte: paravertebral ossifications that run parallel with the spine cf. osteophytes which typically protrude perpendicular to the spine
  • osteophyte: located at the margin of a degenerative synovial joint

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1
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  • Case 1: calcaneal enthesophyte
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  • Case 2: at olecranon
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  • Case 3: calcaneal
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