Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of rheumatoid arthritis and is also regarded as a progressive disease. This inflammatory disease is chronic in nature and primarily targets the spine and if it is left untreated, it may spread to the ligaments, organs and joints of the body.
In a study conducted by the Spondylitis Association of America, it was revealed that people having HLA-B27 gene are highly prone to developing ankylosing spondylitis. Hence, an individual has a certain chance of developing ankylosing spondylitis if any of his/her family members are diagnosed with the same. However, in this post we will deal with prognosis for ankylosing spondylitis so that we can stop them before occurring.
Predicting Outcome in Ankylosing Spondylitis
Patients Doing Relatively Well
It is quite difficult to identify the course of ankylosing spondylitis in a person who is doing relatively well. The progression of this disease varies from one person to another and majority of them are at the risk of permanent disability. Though the inflammation associated with ankylosing spondylitis subsides within 3 months, but 70 to 90 percent of the patients get minimally disabled for the long term.
As far as spinal flexibility is concerned, severe limitation is observed in almost 40 percent of the patients. This spinal deformity is significantly disabling, but it takes around ten years to surface. If you are employed, you should leave your job in the course of your ankylosing spondylitis treatment. This is because the patients having this disease find it quite difficult to get back to work after treatment.
Severe spinal symptoms accompanied by periodic episodes of anterior uveitis or peripheral joint arthritis are also the potent indicators of ankylosing spondylitis. However, a minority have repeated extra-spinal problems escorting the spinal symptoms.
Ankylosing spondylitis leads to fusion of costovertebral joints and vertebral bodies.
Spine Deformities and Disabilities
Though it is rare, but severe disability and deformities caused by fusion of spine may affect the hip joints. Replacement surgery for the hip joints is the only way through which you can alleviate the pain and achieve increased mobility of the lower limbs to counterbalance the limited flexion of the spine.
Respiratory problems may arise due to fusion of vertebral bodies and frozen thorax. However, it can be prevented by employing anti-TNF treatment.
A person suffering from ankylosing spondylitis is prone to vertebral fractures. Rigidity of the bones and joints caused by this disease and weakness rendered by osteoporosis make them brittle.
The ankylosing spondylitis in men is more severe involving spine, hips, pelvis, feet, chest wall and shoulders while in women it is milder and the symptoms often appear in joints like wrists, hips, ankles, pelvis and knees.
If you are already suffering from peripheral arthritis then your spinal restriction will be more severe.
Chances of having ankylosing spondylitis is 20 percent for a child with HLA-B27 positive parent while it is 10 percent for HLA-B27 negative parent.
If radiotherapy is used to treat an ankylosing spondylitis patient then it may bring about more complications like leukaemia and carcinomas.
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