Complications of Ankylosing Spondylitis
Fusion of Bones
In severe cases of AS, new bone formations will grow as part of the body’s efforts to heal itself. The new bones will fuse the bones of the vertebrae, which will result in loss of flexibility. The fusion of bones may also affect the rib cage, and restrict breathing.
Other complications include eye inflammation. This is one of the most common complications that you may experience. This can result in eye pain and sensitivity to light.
Your bones may become thinner during the first stages of AS, which can weaken your vertebrae. As your vertebrae get weakened, your posture may become stooped. In the long run, the spine may get injured because of the stooped posture.
Perhaps the most serious complication that AS can cause is its effect on the heart. It can inflame the aorta, which is the largest artery in the body. This can result in disrupting the shape of the heart and affecting its function.
Ankylosing Spondylitis Diagnosis
The problem with detecting AS is there are many people who suffer from back pain, which is its main symptom. Back pain may be due to many causes, so AS may not immediately be considered. This means a person can suffer from AS undetected for a long time.
Another hurdle in detecting AS early on is there is no single test that can be used to identify if a person is suffering from this condition. It’s even trickier to detect this condition in women because it is more common in men.
Doctors will analyze your symptoms, perform physical examinations, and run blood tests. While joint damage may not appear on imaging tests, MRI or X-rays can also be used.