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Ankylosing Spondylitis, Bamboo Spine

by. Dr. Eko Agus Subagio, Sp. BS - Spine (Tulang Belakang), Dokter Saraf Kecetit
18 February 2016
Ankylosing Spondylitis, Bamboo Spine

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a form of arthritis that affects the spine’s vertebrae and joints (facet joints). AS can affect one or more regions of the spine: cervical (neck), mid back (thoracic), low back (lumbar), and/or sacral (sacrum, pelvis). The Center of Disease Control's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey estimated that as many as 2.7 million adults in the United States may be affected by ankylosing spondylitis.

    Ankylosis: joints fuse together and become unmovable
    Spondylitis: inflammation involving the spine’s vertebrae and facet joints

Similar to other types of arthritis AS causes inflammation and pain. In severe cases of ankylosing spondylitis, the disease causes new bone formation, which can cause the bones in the spine to fuse (join) together. Involvement of the sacroiliac joints (SI joints) is classic as the disease progresses. When vertebrae or other bones/joints fuse together, the spine becomes stiff and immobile. Sometimes this can lead to significant changes in posture, such askyphosis—an abnormal forward position of the upper spine resembling a hunched back.

The severity of AS can vary greatly from person to person. Some people experience intermittent back pain, and others have severe pain and stiffness for long periods of time. Almost all cases are characterized by acute pain followed by temporary remission when symptoms subside. In some cases, AS may affect other parts of the body, such as the eyes.

Exact Cause of Anklyosing Spondylitis Unknown
Although the exact cause of ankylosing spondylitis isn’t known, scientists know that genetics plays a role in the disease. Most people who have ankylosing spondylitis also produce the protein human leukocyte antigen B27 (HLA-B27). Therefore, the doctor may order the blood test that detects HLA-B27. This marker is found in more than 95% of Caucasians with AS. However, you do not have to have the HLA-B27 protein to have AS, and most people with this marker never get ankylosing spondylitis.

Surabaya Spine Clinic
Klinik Tulang Belakanag
Siloam Hospitals Surabaya
Jalan Raya Gubeng No. 70
Jawa Timur, Indonesia
Hotline 082233227788

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