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Axial Spondyloarthritis (Ankylosing Spondylitis)

Axial Spondyloarthritis (Ankylosing Spondylitis) - What it is

Axial Spondyloarthritis Ankylosing Spondylitis condition and treatments

Spondyloarthritis (SpA) is an arthritic condition that affects the joints of the spine, causing inflammation, severe pain and stiffness in the back. SpA can also affect the joints, digits and tendons in the upper and lower limbs as well, and may occasionally cause inflammation of the eye (uveitis), skin (psoriasis) and intestines (eg. Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis).

Axial spondyloarthritis concentrates on the axial skeleton - chest, spine, and pelvis. Some of the conditions included under SpA are ankylosing spondylitis (AS), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), anterior uveitis and inflammatory bowel disease. AS is the prototype for SpA with mainly spinal involvement, thus the following information shall focus on purely on AS. 

The spine and its vertebrae are divided into three main segments: the cervical (neck), thoracic (chest), and lumbar (back). AS often affects the sacroiliac joints and lumbar segments first although the neck and thoracic segments can also be affected. As the condition progresses, the inflammation may cause fusion of the spine and in some cases
the entire spine may become fused resulting in complete rigidity of the spine, a condition known as “bamboo spine”. When this occurs, the patient may experience difficulties in turning his head or bending forward to put on his shoes.

Generally, ankylosing spondylitis affects 1 per 500-1000 people, who are mainly in their teens and 20s. It is two to three times more common in males than females. Family members of affected people are at higher risk, depending partly on whether they inherited the HLA-B27 gene.

Axial Spondyloarthritis (Ankylosing Spondylitis) - How to prevent?

Axial Spondyloarthritis (Ankylosing Spondylitis) - Preparing for surgery

Axial Spondyloarthritis (Ankylosing Spondylitis) - Post-surgery care