Ankylosing Spondylitis and Spinal Cord Injury: Origin, Incidence, Management and Avoidance
spondylitis (AS) is defined as a long-lasting inflammatory rheumatic disease that at first affects the vertebral columnand sacroiliac joints. with time, the disease process leads to extensive remodeling of the spinal axis via ligamentous ossification, vertebral joint fusion, osteoporosis, and kyphosis. Such pathological changes cause the weakened vertebral column with higher tendency to fractures and spinal cord injury (SCI). Spinal cord injury is often intensified by the highly unstable nature of vertebral column fractures in AS. A high incidence of missed fractures in theankylosed spine as well as an increased incidence of spinal epidural hematoma also degrades the severity of SCI. Spinal cord injury in AS is a complicated problem related with high injury and death rates, which can be recognized to the severity of the injury, associated medical comorbidities, and the advanced age of most patients with AS who suffer an SCI.
Objectives: To analyze the factors that increase the incidence of vertebral column fractures and SCI in AS and discuss the management of SCI in patients with AS. Primary prevention strategies for SCI in patients with AS are also discussed.