What are complications that of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and undifferentiated spondyloarthropathy (USpA)?

Updated: Feb 02, 2021
  • Author: Lawrence H Brent, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Complications may occur from spinal and articular disease or extra-articular manifestations. The most common complications of AS include pain, stiffness, and limited functional disability. All of these complications can be reduced through a proper treatment plan consisting of medications, exercise, and education. Patients with AS often have additional coexisting diseases, including other spondyloarthropathies. IBD is also more common in these individuals.

A small minority of patients develop spinal fusion, which may result in severe kyphosis and limited motion of the spine, including the cervical region. The fused spine is more susceptible to fracture, even with relatively minor trauma. Occasionally, the hip and shoulder joints develop severe arthritis, requiring total joint replacement.

Extra-articular manifestations (eg, recurrent uveitis, cardiovascular involvement, pulmonary involvement, amyloidosis) rarely result in significant morbidity or mortality.

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