Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) is a type of arthritis that affects the spine and peripheral joints. AS symptoms include pain and stiffness from the neck down to the lower back. The vertebrae may grow or fuse together, resulting in a rigid spine. Early diagnosis and treatment helps control pain and stiffness and may reduce or prevent deformity.
Symptoms are often less typical for women who have the HLA B-27 gene. They may experience an unusual, chronic, recurring set of symptoms centered around swollen and painful joints in their hands, feet, shoulders, knees and hips with often minimal symptoms in their spines. Because of this, women may go undiagnosed and under-treated for years before the diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis is made.
Most importantly, due to inflammation, patients with Ankylosing Spondylitis are at a greater risk of cancer and heart disease, including heart attack.
For more information on AS, we recommend visiting The National Institutes of Health or contact us for an appointment.