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Skulls May Change Due to Cell Phone Use

Image above from Science Alert


Reports of “horns” growing on the heads of cell phone users is an over-dramatization. However, skull bone growths have been documented on those with “text” or “surf” neck.

A study published in the journal, Scientific Reports, found benign bone growths, known as exostosis, on the skulls of cell phone users.

Study authors looked at 1200 skull xrays (lateral view) and found more prominent bone spurs in younger cell phone users.  Researchers postulate that the growths are adaptive as a result of frequent neck bending when viewing cell phones.

Thus, enthesophyte development may be an adaptive mechanism to further increase the surface area at the tendon/bone interface at sites enduring frequent tensile stress, with bone growth progression taking place in the direction of tensile stress acting on the bone at the point of insertion.

Neck discomfort frequently follows avid cell phone use and many people complain of muscle strain. This study demonstrates how the body tried to adjust for the increase strain on our neck.

These bone spurs should not be confused with “cutaneous horns” which are growths on the face and scalp.



Doctors recommend avoiding excessive time on a cell phone or position it to avoid excessive flexion of one’s neck.


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Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.