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
  • Scandinavians
  • 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
  • Physiotherapy
  • Orthopedic corrective surgery e.g. joint replacement