Fast Five Quiz: Ankylosing Spondylitis Management

Herbert S. Diamond, MD


June 29, 2020

Many patients with advanced disease have fusion of the spine. If these patients report any change in position or movement of the spine, they should be assumed to have a spinal fracture because such an injury is the only way for a fused spine to move. If spinal fracture is present, surgical stabilization may be necessary.

Vertebral osteotomy is a difficult and hazardous procedure that carries a significant risk for major neurologic morbidity; however, the risk may be warranted in some patients with severe spinal deformity because, if the procedure is successful, it allows the patient to return to a more functional life. Patients with fusion of the cervical or upper thoracic spine may benefit from extension osteotomy of the cervical spine.

Although there are risks associated with total hip arthroplasty in patients with AS, this procedures can be very useful for reducing pain and improving function when the hip joint has become severely damaged. In general, outcomes of total joint replacement in patients have been satisfactory.

Learn more about surgical correction and stabilization in AS.


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