About Ankylosing Spondylitis

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Ankylosing Spondylitis is a progressive disease that affects the joints of the hips, lower limbs and neck. Around 0.9% of the general population is diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis and it more often strikes men in the second or third decade of life1.

Ankylosing Spondylitis most often affects the sacroiliac joints, which are located at the base of the spine, where the spine meets the pelvis. Sometimes the eyes and bowels can also get involved1,2.

It presents as constant pain (felt deep in the buttock or lower back) followed by stiffness and fatigue1,3. Fatigue is usually a consequence of pain, stiffness and poor sleep4. While these symptoms are commonly observed, unseen in the background, the spinal bones may undergo certain changes, termed as Fusion.1

Fusion of the spinal bones cannot be seen or felt on examination, but they can be detected by an imaging test1.

Studies show that around 70% of patients progress to fusion of the spine over 10 to 15 years2,3,5.

Fusion is the result of inflammation leading to formation of tiny new bones in between the existing spinal bones.

And what could be the impact of spinal fusion? Immobility1, which may have serious consequences1.

You can choose to hold on to your mobility… Choose to FIGHT THE FUSE!

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Ankylosing Spondylitis is a kind of arthritis that mainly affects the spine or the back bone, although other joints such as the hip or knee may also be involved.

Over time, it may lead to irreversible fusion of bones1,2

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‘ANKYLOSE’means fusion or to fuse

‘SPONDYLITIS’means inflammation of the backbone1

Recent research has brought to light some distressing facts regarding Ankylosing Spondylitis

1 out of every 4 Ankylosing Spondylitis patients show some sign of damage to the spinal bone as early as 3 years after diagnosis7

Ankylosing Spondylitis impacts movement and the ability to do daily tasks within the first 10 years of the disease3

7 out of 10 patients with Ankylosing Spondylitis have a fused spine within 10 to 15 years of onset6

Ask your Rheumatologist about therapies and biologics that slow down spinal fusion.

 

Click here to know more about progression of Ankylosing Spondylitis and the fusion of the spinal bones…

 

References: 1. Sieper J, et al. Ann Rheum Dis 2002;61(Suppl III):iii8–iii18. 2. Gran JT, et al. British Journal of Rheumatology 1997;36:766-771. 3. Deodhar AA, et al. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2016 Dec;68(12):2901-2910. 4. Brophy S , et al. J Rheumatol 2002 Jun;29(6):1236-43. 5. Barkham N, et al. Rheumatology 2005;44:1277–1281. 6. Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis Available [Online] at: https://www.webmd.com/back-pain/guide/ankylosing-spondylitis#1 Accessed on 10 Dec 2018. 7. Kang KY, et al (2015). PLoS ONE 10 (8): e0135206. doi:10.1371/- journal.pone.0135206.