What is Ankylosing Spondylitis?
Ankylosing spondylitis previously known as Bekhterevs disease, Bekhterev syndrome, and Marie Strümpell disease, is a chronic inflammatory disease of the axial skeleton with variable involvement of peripheral joints and nonarticular structures. AS is a form of spondyloarthritis, a chronic, inflammatory arthritis where immune mechanisms are thought to have a key role. It mainly affects joints in the spine and the sacroiliac joint in the pelvis, and can cause eventual fusion of the spine.

It is a member of the group of the spondyloarthropathies with a strong genetic predisposition. Complete fusion results in a complete rigidity of the spine, a condition known as bamboo spine. There is no cure for AS, although treatments and medications can reduce symptoms and pain.