JEAN-DENIS LAREDO, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JEAN-DENIS LAREDO, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured computed tomography (CT) scan of a side view of the lumbar and sacral spine in ankylosing spondylitis. This is a chronic inflammatory arthritis of the spine and sacro-iliac joints (which connect the sacral spine to the pelvis). In this patient the vertebrae have developed a square appearance at their front edges. In severe cases, the vertebrae fuse, giving a bamboo spine appearance. The neck and hips may also be affected. Pain and stiffness are treated with anti-inflammatory drugs and spinal mobility preserved through physiotherapy and regular exercises.
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