Definition of Spondyloarthritis
Spondyloarthritis also called ‘Spondyloarthropathy’ is defined as a set of inflammatory arthritis in the joints of the spine. It is often accompanied by marked tendinitis and enthesitis. Tendinitis is inflammation of the tendons; these are a collection of specialized connective tissues that are attached to the bone. Enthesitis is inflammation at the site of attachment between a tendon and a bone.
Spondyloarthritis tends to be insidious, with a preference for old age.
Causes of Spondyloarthritis
Spondyloarthritis is likely to occur in:
- Men more than women
- Those above 45 years
- People with a family history of spondyloarthritis
- People carrying the HLA-B27 gene
- People with comorbid arthritis e.g. osteoarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis etc.
- People who’ve been involved in motor vehicle accidents (MVA)
Symptoms of Spondyloarthritis
Spondyloarthritis is a set of inflammatory arthritis diseases which tend to have overlapping signs and symptoms. A criterion has been devised and revised to facilitate a narrowly-defined clinical differential:
- Age more than 40
- Insidious onset (weeks to months)
- Symptoms relieved by exercise
- Morning stiffness lasting at least 30 minutes
- Night pain
- Symptoms aggravated by resting
The single leading disease that is exclusive to spondyloarhtropathies is Ankylosing spondylitis. Ankylosing spondylitis is stiffening of the spinal joints especially the lumbar vertebral joints.
- The onset is reportedly unnoticeable with gradual awareness of slight discomfort
- Symptoms of arthritis slowly progress over weeks to months
- Back pain eventually becomes obvious, intense and sharp
- Getting up from a sitting position becomes difficult
- Progressive loss of spinal mobility
- Stiffness lasting more than 30 minutes
- Night pain that is extremely severe
- Associated loss of appetite, loss of weight, altered bowel habits and generalized body fatigue are commonly reported
Treatment of Spondyloarthritis
Approach to spondyloarthritis is a discussion that is constantly evolving. Having an orthopedic specialist like Dr. Burke, with a keen habit of continually updating himself on better treatment methods for optimum outcome in spondyloarthritis, is a privilege to any patient. Dr. Burke is dedicated to ensuring that he offers treatment that is targeted and effective. He is exceptionally skilled in delivering the following treatment plans:
- Medical treatment e.g. NSAIDS, DMARDs, steroids, TNF-inhibitors
- Orthopedic corrective surgery e.g. joint replacement