Ankylosing spondylitis

What is it?

Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of inflammatory arthritis that primarily affects the spine and sacroiliac joints of the pelvis causing chronic back pain and eventually fusion of the spine in some cases.


  • Back pain and stiffness
  • Pain in hips, knee or ankles
  • Decreased range of motion of the spine
  • Fatigue
  • Redness and pain in the eye due inflammatory eye disease

Risk factors

  • Family history of ankylosing spondylitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Uveitis
  • Psoriasis

Diagnosing ankylosing spondylitis

  • Complete medical history and physical exam
  • Imaging (X-ray or MRI)
  • Blood test for the HLA B-27 gene
    • Please note: Not everyone with a positive HLA B-27 gene will develop ankylosing spondylitis.

Treating ankylosing spondylitis

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
  • Biologic medications: Tumor necrosis factor inhibitors (TNF-i) and Interleukin-17 (IL-17) inhibitors
  • Physical therapy and exercise programs

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