Ankylosing Spondylitis - Severity and Progression

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Do you or a relative have ankylosing spondylitis? Please share its progression, along with treatments.

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What is the prognosis (outlook) for patients with ankylosing spondylitis?

The outlook for patients with ankylosing spondylitis is very much dependent upon the location and severity of its manifestations. The prognosis is best for those who maintain close monitoring with the treating doctors and who incorporate physical activities designed to maintain mobility. Quitting smoking is essential for the best long-term outcome. It has been found that people with ankylosing spondylitis have somewhat of an increased risk for coronary artery disease. This increased risk appears to be caused by chronic inflammation. Therefore, it is important to optimize all modifiable cardiac risks, including elevated blood pressure and cholesterol.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Darla, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 12

While I have had back pain since my early 20s, I always understood it to be osteoarthritis due to injuries from a car accident. I took Voltaren for years until a few years ago I had bleeding ulcers and was told to stop taking all NSAIDS and even my Vicodin. Needless to say I became so stiff in my back that it was difficult to do anything but lie down or sit. This past summer I started having pain in my left eye. It was very sensitive to light and nearly swelled shut and my vision was blurred. I was very concerned and went to the emergency room. They diagnosed me with cellulitis, gave me eye drops and antibiotic. It did improve in time but, a couple months later the other eye did the same thing. I went to the optician who made my glassed and he sent me to an ophthalmologist where I was told I have iritis or uveitis. He also told me this condition is caused by an autoimmune disease. I was tested and told I have ankylosing spondylitis. I will be seeing a rheumatologist soon. I hope I will find some relief for my back pain that will not cause my ulcers to act up.

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Comment from: geelong man, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: August 27

I was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) at the age of 20, and I'm now 59. I don't think there was a wide knowledge about AS among many doctors back then and it was a while after I started to feel pain in my feet and chest before I was seen by a more up-to-date doctor. I have been on many drugs in my time and had a laminectomy some years ago. After the operation I was a lot better for a while but the pain returned. I take a high dosage of prednisolone and Oxycontin to keep the pain down. I am about to start a course of etanercept as a last hope, as after nearly 40 years I sometimes feel it's all getting too much.

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