Have You Heard of Ankylosing Spondylitis?

Dr Ainon Mokhtar

Physician,
Internal Medicine and Rheumatology

Ara Damansara Medical Centre

Ankylosing spondylitis or AS, is a form of chronic arthritis that primarily affects the spine, although other joints, especially larger joints, can also be impacted. It causes inflammation of the spinal joints (vertebrae) that can lead to severe, chronic pain and discomfort.

In more advanced cases this inflammation can lead to ankylosis, fusion of the spine, and result in new bone formation, causing sections of the spine to fuse in a fixed, immobile position. The hallmark feature of Ankylosing Spondylitis is the involvement of the Spine and Sacroiliac (SI) Joints during the progression of the disease. The SI Joints are located at the base of the spine, where the spine joins the pelvis.

The exact cause of AS is unknown. However, we do know that genetics play a role in this disease. Most individuals who have AS also have a gene called HLA-B27. This marker is found in more than 95 percent of people in the Caucasian population with AS. It is important to note, however, that one does not have to be HLA-B27 positive to have AS. Also, a majority of people with this marker never develop Ankylosing Spondylitis.

In most cases, treatment involves a combination of medication, exercise, and self-help measures. In some cases, surgery may be used to repair some of the joint damage caused by the disease. Ultimately the aims of managing a person with Ankylosing Spondylitis are:

  • To reduce pain due to joint inflammation
  • To reduce disease progression and deformity
  • To improve mobility of joints and maintain posture
  • To overcome other systemic involvement related to Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • To improve function and to lead a normal life

Do you suffer from chronic back pain? Ara Damansara Medical Centre is a widely respected centre of excellence for the treatment of spinal and joint conditions.

To find out more, or discuss your wider healthcare needs, please contact us:

Telephone: +603 7839 9999
Online: www.ramsaysimedarby.com
Email: enquiries@ramsaysimedarbyhealth.com

Ara Damansara Medical Centre
Lot 2, Jalan Lapangan Terbang Subang
Seksyen U2
40150 Shah Alam
Selangor Darul
Ehsan