Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) is a chronic, inflammatory arthritis that primarily affects the spine, although other joints can become involved. It causes inflammation of the joints between the spinal bones and the joints between the spine and the pelvis (sacroiliac joints) that can lead to severe, chronic pain and discomfort. In the most advanced cases, this inflammation can lead to new bone formation on the spine, causing the spinal bones to fuse together in a fixed, immobile position, sometimes creating a forward-stooped posture.
Early diagnosis and treatment of AS is imperative to prevent disability. Delayed diagnosis is common because symptoms are often attributed to more common back problems. Musculoskeletal imaging, specifically MRI, plays an important role in early diagnosis and monitoring of AS.
Our team of expert physicians, nurses and technologists is headed by Thomas J. Learch, MD, who specializes in the diagnosis of Ankylosing Spondylitis.