Ankylosing Spondylitis: A Progressive Arthritic Condition that Should not be Overlooked.

What is Ankylosing Spondylitis?

In Laymen’s terms: Understanding the diagnosis term Ankylosing Spondylitis.

Admittedly, Ankylosing Spondylitis is a big word that can initiate confusion right off the bat. These challenging medical terms originate from early Greek or Latin scholars that were naming, documenting and sharing their medical studies.  What it ended up creating was a universal form for medical interpretation that many countries still incorporate into medical their care. For example, when the word medicine is said its means practically the same whether you are Italy, France, or the United States.

If the word Ankylosing Spondylitis is broken down, it makes a little more sense. Ankylosis in Greek means the stiffening of a joint, and the prefix Spondylo- means vertebrae. So basically it’s interpreted as “arthritis that affects the joints of the spine”.

Even though originally named due to its manifestation in the spine, The National Institute for Arthritis points out that AS can also affect the pelvis, knees, ribs, hips, and feet. Sometimes it can cause inflammation in the eyes or intestines, scarring of the nerves, irritation in tendons and ligaments and, in rare cases, silent inflammation around the heart or lungs.  If your doctor is suspecting you may have AS, a referral to a rheumatoid doctor or arthritis specialist is probably a good idea so that all systems that are vulnerable are checked carefully.

Damage to the joints of the spine due to AS can cause pain and decrease the quality of life as patients try to cope with chronic pain and stiffness.  This joint damage sometimes leads to Spondylolisthesis, the slipping of a disc forward or backward out of its proper placement.  At Orthopedic and Laser Spine Surgery, we offer treatment for the effects Ankylosing Spondylitis and many other back or neck conditions related to arthritis of the spine.  Should you have concerns about your bone or joint pain, our team is available to assist with questions or schedule an appointment for an evaluation.