Ankylosing Spondylitis

By Brady Lombard

What is it?

Ankylosing Spondylitis is a form of Rheumatoid arthritis that attacks the skeletal system by fusing the joints together which prevents them from moving.

Signs and symptoms

Symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis include sharp pain in the lower back and joints. Additionally pain or tightness in a persons tendons and ligaments could lead to Ankylosing Spondylitis.

How does the skeletal system work?

The main duty of the skeletal system is to support the body. The bones allow a structure for the muscles to attach to so you can bend and lift things easily.
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How does it arise?

Ankylosing Spondylitis affects the lining of the joints causing pain and swelling. Over time this erodes the bone and causes deformed joints. As a form of rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disorder, Ankylosing Spondylitis occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks a person's own tissue doing damage. There is some genetic connection to the HLA-B27 gene which starves the body from its natural proteins which decreases joint fluid reducing ease of movement. Not all people with (AS) have this gene.

How is Ankylosing Spondylitis diagnosed?

(AS) is diagnosed by a doctor feeling for a soft spot in your back, pelvic bones or your chest and heels, also he could look for swelling in your joints or test the mobility of those joints. X-rays can confirm fused joints, and chest expansion for breathing may decrease as well.

Treatment for this disease

There is no known cure for (AS), but there are some medications that can be prescribed to slow down the process of (AS). Additionally, there are things that can be done to reduce the pain of (AS). Joint replacement surgery replaces the joint or joint fusion surgery which replaces the joint and then fills it with bone graft which reduces joint movement.

What is the morbidity-mortality or life expectancy for someone with this condition?

The life expectancy of a person with (AS) is normal to slightly reduced. However, the quality of life is greatly reduced by severe pain and stiffness.
Stop motion animation by Brady lombard
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My Grandfather has this disease and he has it more than just his back. He has it in his toes, ankles , arms and chest. It affects his lifestyle because he used to be an avid hunter/fisher and now he can't go hunting or fishing like he used to because his toes have fused together which makes it difficult to hike long distances or handle rough terrain. When he comes to our house we have to 4- wheel him up to the shooting range. (AS) causes him considerable pain.

Work cited

Work cited

"Ankylosing Spondylitis: Pain, Symptoms, Treatments, Causes, and More." WebMD. WebMD. Web. 21 Jan. 2015. <>.

"Ankylosing Spondylitis Diagnosis." Ankylosing Spondylitis Diagnosis. Web. 22 Jan. 2015. <>.

"Ankylosing Spondylitis Diagnosis." Ankylosing Spondylitis Diagnosis. Web. 22 Jan. 2015. <>.

"About Ankylosing Spondylitis." About Ankylosing Spondylitis. Web. 22 Jan. 2015. <>.

"Rheumatoid Arthritis." YouTube. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2015.

Rheumatoid Arthritis." Definition. Web. 25 Jan. 2015. <>.

"Ankylosing Spondylitis AS. Inflamed Spine Information. Patient |" Web. 25 Jan. 2015. <>.