DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Curved spine in an 64 year old man with ankylosing spondylitis, a type of arthritis. Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory disease that affects the joints between the spinal vertebrae in the back. The disorder usually begins with pain and stiffness in the lower back and progresses up the spine with increasing immobility. In severe cases, curvature of the spine occurs and the spine may even become completely rigid due to fusion of the vertebrae. The curved spine here, bending back-to-front rather than sideways, is known as kyphosis.
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