Ankylosing spondylitis

Case contributed by Dr Ian Bickle

Presentation

Retired man with acute on chronic neck pain. High clinical concern resulted in CT following limited plain film views.

Patient Data

Age: 65 years old
Gender: Male
X-ray

Aside from an open degenerative C5/C6 intervertebral disc space, the whole of the cervical spine is ankylosed.

CT

The florid ankylosis of the whole visualised cervicothoracic spine is illustrated.

The angulation at C5/C6 is due to this being the only remaining non-fused intervertebral disc space.

The C5/C6 disc space is degenerative.

Photo

The rigid structure if bamboo from which the name of an ankylosed spine is rightly derived.

Case Discussion

Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of negative spondyloarthritides, nearly exclusively affecting males.

This is characterised with ankylosis of the spine and sacroiliac joints, forming in the most extreme cases a bamboo spine - the spine ankylosing into one rigid 'block' of bone, which is resultingly extremely susceptible to fracture.

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Case information

rID: 26910
Case created: 13th Jan 2014
Last edited: 12th Mar 2016
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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