Spondylitis. Coloured magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of sagittal (side) sections through the lower spine of a 63-year-old patient suffering from spondylitis. The front of the body is at left in both. Intervertebral discs (green) separate the lumbar vertebrae (bones, brown). The space between vertebrae L2 and L3 (centre left and right) has narrowed, due to inflammation of the joint (spondylitis). Part of the joint is pressing on the spinal cord (dark, to the right of the spine). Spondylitis causes pain and restriction of movement. Treatment includes physical therapy and anti-inflammatory drugs. In severe cases, surgery can relieve pressure on the spinal canal.
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