Ankylosing Spondylitis is a slow, degenerative disorder that affects the sacroiliac joint in the lower back. It is a type of inflammatory arthritis, like rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis.
The meaning of Ankylosing Spondylitis describes what happens to the body and causes joint pain. This phrase is Greek for joint stiffness in the vertebra. Stiffness is a common sign of joint inflammation and arthritis. So, at Dr. Burke Orthopedics, we define Ankylosing Spondylitis as arthritis in the spinal joints.
Causes of Ankylosing Spondylitis
The main causes of Ankylosing Spondylitis are still not clear to orthopedic doctors. However, most patients are between 20 and 30-years-old. So, after orthopedic research, doctors also consider other factors with it. These include:
- Family history
- Any age between 15 and 45-years-old
- Previous intestinal infections
- Environmental factors
Symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis
The onset of Ankylosing Spondylitis is subtle. Initially, you experience small discomfort. It later becomes more painful over time. The symptoms are mainly arthritic near the lower back and even extending into the hips. Back pain from it causes loss of spinal mobility. Eventually, this disorder limits breathing because of severe stiffness in the spinal joints.
Other symptoms that Dr. Burke examines when diagnosing Ankylosing Spondylitis include:
- Joint stiffness in the mornings
- Severe joint pain during the night
- Swelling toward the lower back
- Overall body fatigue
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
Treatment of Ankylosing Spondylitis
Ankylosing Spondylitis requires special orthopedic care. Dr. Burke evaluates this disease and recommends the best treatment for lower back pain. If you are experiencing symptoms, contact Dr. Burke Orthopedics. Successful treatments with Dr. Burke include:
- NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) like diclofenac or ibuprofen
- Steroid injections for the lumbar spine
- DMARD (Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs) such as Sulfasalazine or rituximab.
- Physical therapy with low intensity exercises and posture training
If the disease and back pain grows, Dr. Burke has other options available. Special orthopedic treatments are exclusive to Dr. Burke Orthopedics. So, surgical intervention and reconstruction for Ankylosing Spondylitis include spinal fusion and other orthopedic treatment options.