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Symptoms and Signs of Ankylosing Spondylitis, Rheumatologic Perspective

Doctor's Notes on Ankylosing Spondylitis, Rheumatologic Perspective

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a chronic illness disease that affects the joints near the center of the body, particularly the spine and sacroiliac joints that are located at the lowest end of the spine where the sacrum meets the iliac bone in the pelvis, and can lead to eventual fusion of the spine.

Rheumatologic and other symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis include gradual onset of back pain and stiffness, early morning pain and stiffness that is relieved with exercise or a warm shower, fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, and in advanced cases, complete loss of spine mobility. Other symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis may include inflammation of the eyes (iritis) or bowels (colitis), mouth ulcers skin inflammation (psoriasis, which can cause patchy, scaly redness), and rarely, scarring of the lungs (fibrosis).

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.