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) .

Relevant pathology


Differential diagnosis

  • 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