Medical Media Images

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

What is Ankylosing Spondylitis? Shown and explained with Color X-Ray Images

Ankylosing Spondylitis is a disease which causes chronic inflammation primarily of the Joints of the Spine (neck, mid-back, low-back, tailbone) and Pelvis (hipbone). This chronic inflammation causes these Joints to form bone spurs, which can eventually form bone bridges. They can be strong enough to connect the Vertebrae together. This often leads to severe stiffness or even a complete Fusion (lack of mobility) of the Spine.

Diseases like Ankylosing Spondylitis are called "autoimmune diseases". Our immune system does not recognize the Spine and Pelvis Joints as our own and sends antibodies to fight them off. This causes severe joint inflammation, pain and degeneration.

Let's take a quick look at a normal Lumbar Spine (low back) before we learn about a Spine affected by Ankylosing Spondylitis.

The Color X-Ray Image below is Interactive. As you move your mouse cursor over the Image, Interactive Image tags appear. Each tag displays text to explain a specific part of the Image.

Color X-Ray of the Lumbar Spine showing Normal Anatomy
Interactive Color X-Ray of the Anatomy of the Lumbar Spine (low back)

The next Color X-Ray Image shows a Lumbar Spine (low back) affected by Ankylosing Spondylitis. Notice how bone spurs on the side of the Spine have grown large bone bridges (red arrows) between the Vertebrae. This Image is also Interactive.

Interactive Color X-Ray showing Ankylosing Spondylitis

 The severity of Ankylosing Spondylitis can very widely from relatively mild cases to the very advanced, debilitating ones. Treatments include primarily Medications, Physical Therapy, Postural Exercises. Typically, Rheumatology Doctors manage and monitor the Treatment of Ankylosing Spondylitis.

Medication management of Ankylosing Spondylitis has significantly improved in recent years. The new group of Medications, called "Biologics" (Tumor Necrosis Factor-a Inhibitors) can even stop the progression of the disease in some patients. These Biologics work by blocking certain Proteins which are present in large quantities in patients with autoimmune diseases such as Ankylosing Spondylitis.

If you liked this Blog, here are other recent topics covered by the MMI blog:

What is an Epidural Injection? Shown and explained with Color MRI Images
What is the "Cervical Spine"? Shown and Explained with Color MRI and Color X-Ray Images
What is Spinal Cord Stimulation? Shown and Explained with Color x-Ray and Color MRI Images
What is a Spinal Fusion Surgery of the Low Back (Lumbar Spine)? Shown and explained with Color X-Ray Images
What is a Sacroiliac Joint and why does it cause Pain? Shown and explained with Color X-Ray Images

If you would like to know more about how MMI creates Color X-Rays and Color MRIs, here is a Video for you:

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