What Is an Enthesophyte?

Enthesophytes, also known as bone spurs, are abnormal bone growths that advance into the connective tissues of ligaments or tendons. Common causes of enthesophytes are skeletal stresses such as arthritis, large amounts of physical exercise and inflammatory rheumatic disease.

Enthesophytes are comparable to osteophytes, bone growths that develop in the body’s joints. The National Center for Biotechnology Information notes that an archaeological study of human skeletons found evidence that the two conditions are linked. The study also found that bone spurs are more common in males, are more likely with age and that they can be caused by a genetic connection. Certain people are more likely to grow spurs than others. This group is called “bone formers.”