Facts: Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)
- Rheumatologic condition with progressive ossification of spinal ligaments and ankylosis of facet joints leading to total stiffness
- Patients with AS often have osteoporosis as a result of chronic inflammation, disuse and from the use of steroid medication; therefore they are at risk of developing fracture.
- Minor trauma (or even no trauma) can result in fractures of ankylosed spine
Facts: Fractures in Ankylosing Spondylitis
- Different pattern than in a normal spine
- Fracture line goes entirely through bone, either through vertebral body, ossified ligaments or both
- Fracture can "open up" in flexion or extension
- Can be complicated by epidural bleeding, secondary displacement (either hyperflexion or hyperextension), loss of fixation and increased mortality
Olerud C, Frost A, Bring J. Spinal fractures in patients with ankylosing spondylitis. Eur Spine J 1996;5:51-55.