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Ankylosing Spondylitis and Bamboo Backbone: Connection, Danger, Therapy

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a power type of inflammatory arthritis that primarily impacts the backbone, inflicting again ache and stiffness. In later levels of the illness, AS could cause the bones of the backbone to fuse collectively into one lengthy, inflexible bone. This is called “bamboo backbone.”

Learn on to study extra concerning the connection between ankylosing spondylitis and bamboo backbone, together with threat elements and coverings.

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Connection Between Ankylosing Spondylitis and Bamboo Backbone

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a type of autoimmune arthritis characterised by long-term irritation of the backbone and sacroiliac joints that join the bottom of the backbone to the pelvis. Because the illness progresses, irritation could unfold to different areas of the physique and trigger ache and stiffness in different joints, together with the neck, shoulders, ribs, hips, and heels.

Widespread signs of AS embody:

  • Again ache and stiffness
  • gentle fever
  • lack of urge for food
  • basic discomfort

In superior AS, power irritation can result in new bone formation within the backbone, known as ankylosis. This will finally trigger the spinal vertebrae to fuse in a hard and fast, inflexible place. AS-related bone fusion sometimes begins on the sacroiliac joints and progresses up the backbone, from the lumbar backbone (decrease again) to the cervical backbone (neck). That is known as bamboo backbone as a result of the backbone resembles a bamboo stem on imaging scans.

Superior ankylosing spondylitis and bamboo backbone are additionally related to the next:

  • Restricted mobility and adaptability: The fused, inflexible backbone could make it exhausting to have interaction in each day actions, akin to placing on sneakers.
  • kyphosis: It is a rounded higher again, or hunchbacked posture.
  • Elevated threat of fracture: Folks with spinal rigidity have 4 occasions the danger of fractures.
  • cauda equina syndrome: This happens when nerve roots within the decrease again are compressed, lowering mobility and sensation within the decrease physique. Analysis means that bamboo backbone could stiffen the outer layer of tissue that protects the spinal wire (dura mater), inflicting nerve root injury.
  • Problem respiration: Joints between the rib and backbone could develop into infected and painful, which may limit chest motion and make respiration tough.


The precise reason behind ankylosing spondylitis isn’t but absolutely understood. About 90% of individuals with AS have the HLA-B27 gene, however many individuals with the gene don’t develop the illness. This means {that a} mixture of genetic and environmental elements will increase the danger of AS.

AS is related to power irritation within the backbone, which causes the spinal joints and surrounding mushy tissues—together with intervertebral discs, ligaments, and tendons—to calcify and harden over time. Bamboo backbone develops attributable to this calcification.

Not everybody with AS will develop bamboo backbone. Getting identified and following your therapy routine can assist handle the ache and irritation to scale back the danger of bamboo backbone.

Therapy and Administration of Ankylosing Spondylitis With Bamboo Backbone

There isn’t a treatment for ankylosing spondylitis, however therapies can scale back signs and assist gradual the development of the illness. Ankylosing spondylitis is most frequently handled with a mix of bodily remedy and medicines. Wholesome way of life decisions are additionally beneficial, together with a nutritious weight loss plan, common train, practising good posture, and never smoking.

Ankylosing spondylitis medicines are designed to scale back ache and irritation and scale back the danger of spinal fusion. Widespread AS medicines embody:

Surgical procedure could also be thought-about if ankylosing spondylitis has progressed and the spinal vertebrae have fused collectively. Surgical procedure for individuals with AS is uncommon and is usually solely beneficial for individuals with extreme ache and spinal deformity.

Surgical procedures to deal with bamboo backbone embody:

  • Osteotomies: It is a process to scale back spinal deformity and enhance spinal stability and mobility. The surgeon will reduce and realign spinal vertebrae in the course of the process to appropriate deformities akin to kyphosis.
  • Laminectomy: It is a decompression process that removes a portion of the spinal vertebrae (lamina) to alleviate stress on the spinal wire and nerves.
  • Spinal fusion: This process is used to appropriate spinal deformity and supply stability to the spinal column. Rods and/or screws could also be inserted to fuse spinal vertebrae into a greater place.

The kind of surgical procedure your healthcare supplier recommends will rely in your signs, spinal deformity severity, and general well being.


Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a progressive inflammatory arthritis that primarily impacts the backbone and sacroiliac joints. Over time, long-term irritation of the backbone could trigger the vertebrae to fuse collectively into an extended, inflexible bone that resembles a stalk of bamboo. This is called bamboo backbone.

Not everybody who has AS will develop bamboo backbone. Early prognosis and correct therapy with medicines, way of life adjustments, and common train can assist gradual AS development.

A Phrase From Verywell

There isn’t a treatment for ankylosing spondylitis, however early prognosis and following your therapy routine can scale back signs, gradual the development of the illness, and assist forestall bamboo backbone. Dwelling with bamboo backbone can definitely influence your day-to-day life, however with help out of your family members and the correct therapy, you’ll be able to nonetheless take pleasure in a full life.

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