Ankylosing Spondylitis

The Swedish Neuroscience Institute specializes in diagnosing and treating ankylosing spondylitis. This type of spinal deformity stems from inflammatory arthritis, which can cause the ligaments, intervertebral discs and vertebrae to become rigid and osteoporotic.

Treatment

At Swedish, we don’t consider surgery as the first treatment option. It’s the most invasive treatment, and in many cases conservative treatments can effectively treat pain and help patients maintain their current level of activity and quality of life. 

Conservative Care

Conservative care includes physical therapy, massage therapy, aquatics, epidural steroid injections, acupuncture, chiropractic treatments and various other methods of pain management. We offer multiple resources to assist with conservative care, including consultations with physiatrists (sports medicine physicians) and pain management specialists.

Surgery

Surgery may be recommended for patients with more progressive symptoms, and for those who do not improve after six weeks or more of conservative care.

Your surgeon will discuss the best options for you based upon your physical exam and imaging studies. Your treatment team will then create a care plan tailored to your spinal condition. At the Swedish Neuroscience Institute, several types of surgery are available, including:

  • Laminectomy, surgery to remove the lamina, a bone at the back of each vertebra, from the affected area of the spine. This helps relieve pressure on your spinal cord or a nerve running out from your spinal cord.
  • Spinal fusion, a type of surgery used to join two or more vertebrae through the use of supplementary bone tissue and spinal instrumentation. Spinal fusion removes the damaged tissue and locks two or more vertebrae in place. This prevents unwanted movement that can lead to irritation and inflammation of the spinal nerves.

To have a spinal condition assessed by a Swedish spine specialist, schedule a consultation online or call 206-320-BACK (2225).

Diagnosing and treating spine conditions