A spine x-ray image retrieval system has been developed for retrieving images based on the pathology information such as the osteophyte. Osteophyte shows only in particular regions on the vertebra. This means the contour information on the vertebra regions that are not of interest hinder the image retrieval relevance precision. Curve matching or partial shape matching (PSM) methods based on dynamic programming for matching shapes with variable number of points and with different data point distribution have been developed to detect the osteophyte with similar shapes. Based on the shape property of spines, corner guided dynamic programming (DP) is introduced as the new enhanced searching strategy which dramatically increases the processing efficiency of the traditional DP. Shape representation method using multiple open triangles is presented in this paper. Performance evaluation of corner-guided DP on this shape representation based on human relevance judgment is presented. This paper also presents the implementation and performance of the retrieval system. The retrieval system consists of a user friendly graphical user interface (GUI) which has been developed for testing. All the shape matching methods that have been developed have been integrated into the system for the user to choose during a retrieval process. The retrieval results are ranked from the most similar to the least similar and can be all viewed by the user.