DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Flexion contractures of the hand in a patient with ankylosing spondylitis (A.S.), a type of chronic inflammatory arthritis which arises in the spine and sacro-iliac joints. Inflammation typically begins in the lower spine & progresses upwards. In severe cases, vertebrae become fused to give a "bamboo spine" appearance on X-rays. Peripheral involvment of the neck, hips & other joints may take place. The eyes may be affected by an inflammatory uveitis. Pain and stiffness are treated with anti-inflammatory drugs & spinal mobility preserved through physiotherapy and regular exercises.
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