Ankylosing spondylitis
St. Luke's Hospital
Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Find a Physician Payment Options Locations & Directions
Follow us on: facebook twitter Mobile Email Page Email Page Print Page Print Page Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size Font Size
America's 50 Best Hospitals
Meet the Doctor
Spirit of Women
Community Health Needs Assessment
Home > Health Information

Multimedia Encyclopedia

Ankylosing spondylitis

Definition

Ankylosing spondylitis is a long-term disease that involves inflammation of the joints between the spinal bones, and the joints between the spine and pelvis.

These joints become swollen and inflamed. Over time, the affected spinal bones join together.

Alternative Names

Rheumatoid spondylitis; Spondylitis; Spondylarthropathy

Causes

The cause of ankylosing spondylitis is unknown, but genes seem to play a role.

The disease most often begins between ages 20 and 40, but it may begin before age 10. It affects more males than females.

 

Symptoms

The disease starts with low back pain that comes and goes.

  • Pain and stiffness are worse at night, in the morning, or when you are not active. They may wake you from sleep.
  • The pain typically gets better with activity or exercise.
  • Back pain may begin in the sacroiliac joints (between the pelvis and spine). Over time, it may involve all or part of the spine.

You may lose motion or movement in the lower spine. You may not be able to fully expand your chest because the joints between the ribs are involved.

Fatigue is also a common symptom.

Other, less common symptoms include:

  • Eye swelling or uveitis
  • Heel pain
  • Hip pain and stiffness
  • Joint pain and joint swelling in the shoulders, knees, and ankles
  • Loss of appetite
  • Slight fever
  • Weight loss

Exams and Tests

Tests may include:

Treatment

Your doctor may prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce swelling and pain.

Different medicines are prescribed to calm swelling and the immune system:

  • Corticosteroid therapy such as prednisone
  • Sulfasalazine
  • Methotrexate (taken once a week)
  • TNF-inhibitors (etanercept, adalimumab, infliximab, golimumab)

Surgery may be done if pain or joint damage is severe.

Exercises can help improve posture and breathing. Lying flat on your back at night can help maintain a normal posture.

Outlook (Prognosis)

The course of the disease is hard to predict. Symptoms may come and go at any time. Most people are able to function unless the hips are severely involved.

Rarely, people may have problems with:

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your health care provider if:

  • You have symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis
  • You have ankylosing spondylitis and develop new symptoms during treatment

References

Inman RD. The spoondyloarthropathies. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011: chap 273.

Sidiropoulos PI, Hatemi G, Song IH, et al. Evidence-based recommendations for the management of ankylosing spondylitis: systematic literature search of the 3E Initiative in Rheumatology involving a broad panel of experts and practising rheumatologists. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2008. 47(3):355-61.


Review Date: 6/15/2012
Reviewed By: Ariel D. Teitel, MD, MBA, Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, NYU Langone Medical Center. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
adam.com
 


Back  |  Top
About Us
Contact Us
History
Mission
Locations & Directions
Quality Reports
Annual Reports
Honors & Awards
Community Health Needs
Assessment

Newsroom
Services
Brain & Spine
Cancer
Heart
Maternity
Orthopedics
Pulmonary
Sleep Medicine
Urgent Care
Women's Services
All Services
Patients & Visitors
Locations & Directions
Find a Physician
Tour St. Luke's
Patient & Visitor Information
Contact Us
Payment Options
Financial Assistance
Send a Card
Mammogram Appointments
Health Tools
My Personal Health
mystlukes
Spirit of Women
Health Information & Tools
Clinical Trials
Health Risk Assessments
Employer Programs -
Passport to Wellness

Classes & Events
Classes & Events
Spirit of Women
Donate & Volunteer
Giving Opportunities
Volunteer
Physicians & Employees
For Physicians
Remote Access
Medical Residency Information
Pharmacy Residency Information
Physician CPOE Training
Careers
Careers
St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Copyright © St. Luke's Hospital Website Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Patient Notice of Privacy Policies PDF Sitemap St. Luke's Mobile