Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) Overview

Minimally Invasive Spine

Also known as Rheumatoid Spondylitis , Spondylitis. 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.

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Listen to Live Lectures About AS by the Doctors:

“ Cervico - Thoracic deformity as a result of AS “ by Dr. Perri

“Decompression and fusion surgeries for AS patients” by Dr. Siddique


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

Tests May Include

  • CBC
  • ESR
  • HLA – B27 Antigen
  • X-rays
  • MRI


Your doctor may prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce swelling and pain. Surgery may be done if pain or joint damage is severe.



Before your appointment, you may want to write a list of answers to the following questions:

  • When did you begin experiencing symptoms?
  • Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
  • How severe are your symptoms?
  • Are your symptoms worse in the morning or after long periods of inactivity?
  • What, if anything, seems to worsen or improve your symptoms?
  • Have you taken medications to relieve the pain? What helped most?
  • Have you seen a Rheumatologist?
  • Have you been tested for AS through blood work?
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