Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) can be a painful and progressive disorder that can steal your quality of life and range of motion. At Coast Spine and Sports Medicine, we offer comprehensive treatment options to address the pain and limited joint function of AS for men and women in Orange County, Los Angeles County and Inland Empire.
What Is Ankylosing Spondylitis?
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a rheumatological disorder and a type of arthritis that affects the lumbar spine. AS causes inflammation primarily of the lumbar spine joints and sacroiliac joints, although it may also affect hips and peripheral joints in the region. The disorder usually strikes between the late adolescence and early adulthood and progressively worsens.
How Much Does Ankylosing Spondylitis Treatment Cost in Orange County?
The cost of your ankylosing spondylitis treatment will depend on the treatment options we recommend based on the extend and progression of your condition. During your initial appointment, we will create a personalized treatment plan and explain the cost of your treatment. Coast Spine and Sports Medicine accepts many forms of insurance, as well as financing through CareCredit®.
What Are the Symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis?
Ankylosing spondylitis affects both men and women. Men typically have a more progressive disorder, but women usually have more serious involvement of the peripheral joints. The disorder begins with morning stiffness of the back that can last minutes or hours and may come with fatigue. Unlike most back disorders, rest or inactivity makes the stiffness and dull lower back pain worse. Over time, the disorder causes pain in the upper and middle back, as well as gradual spinal stiffening that affects first the lumbar spine (and eventually the neck).
Ankylosing spondylitis causes a deformity known as rigid kyphosis. This results in a hunched over and stiff posture caused by a severe flexion deformity, or a downward curvature of the spine. This happens when the condition is not treated and long-term inflammation causes the vertebrae to actually fuse together into this downward curvature. This also limits range of motion and increases back pain.
There may be additional symptoms not related to the spine, including inflammation of the eyes, chronic fatigue, and anemia. Many people with ankylosing spondylitis also develop bowel inflammation. Osteoporosis or weakened bones are common as well in people with AS. This can increase the risk of spinal fractures.
What Causes Ankylosing Spondylitis?
It’s not known what causes AS, but there is a genetic factor. People with the HLA-B27 gene are at a higher risk of developing AS, but only a small share of people with this gene develop the condition.
How Is Ankylosing Spondylitis Treated in Orange County?
At Coast Spine and Sports Medicine, we believe in a multi-disciplinary and personalized approach to treating spinal conditions like ankylosing spondylitis. This condition requires treatment as soon as possible to reduce or stop disease progression. The right treatment option will depend on the severity and progression of your condition, but it typically includes a multi-faceted approach involving good posture techniques, medication, physical therapy, and joint pain treatment.
Steroid injections such as sacroiliac joint injections may be recommended for AS. Steroid injections work by decreasing inflammation in the affected joints and delivering significant but temporary pain relief. Up to three steroid joint injections may be given within six months.
In severe cases, surgery to correct your posture may be required. Depending on the surgical procedure, there may be risks, but surgical intervention may be the only solution to offer long-term pain relief and improved mobility.
The most common procedure used to treat ankylosing spondylitis is laminectomy, which relieves pressure on spinal nerve roots by removing a section of vertebra bone known as the lamina to access the spinal disc. This is a minimally invasive procedure.
In rare cases, spinal osteotomy with spinal fusion may be recommended. This procedure is used to correct spinal deformities and fuse two or more vertebrae together.
If you are suffering with the pain and reduced function of ankylosing spondylitis, contact us at Coast Spine and Sports Medicine today to schedule an appointment. We develop tailored treatment plans to deliver significant pain relief and better joint function for patients in Los Angeles County and Orange County.