Ankylosing spondylitis

Alternative Names

Rheumatoid spondylitis; Spondylitis; Spondylarthropathy; Seronegative bundle arthropathy

Definition of Ankylosing spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis is a long-term disease that causes inflammation of the joints between the spinal bones, and the joints between the spine and pelvis. It eventually causes the affected spinal bones to join together.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The cause of ankylosing spondylitis is unknown, but genes seem to play a role.


The disease starts with low back pain that comes and goes.

Signs and tests

Tests may include:


Your doctor may prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce inflammation and pain.

Expectations (prognosis)

The course of the disease is unpredictable. Symptoms may come and go at any time. Most people are able to function unless the hips are severely involved.


Mark James Borigini, MD, Rheumatologist in the Washington, DC Metro area. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 5/13/2010

Skeletal spine
Cervical spondylosis

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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