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Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory condition that involves the spine and skeleton of the head and trunk. The disorder causes inflammation and pain in joints in the spine, pelvis and other parts of the skeleton. In addition, parts of the spine, the hips or the sacroiliac joints where the hips join the lower back, may fuse, or grow, together.

Our Approach to Ankylosing Spondylitis

UCSF provides comprehensive evaluations and advanced care for ankylosing spondylitis. We offer the latest diagnostic techniques and strive to identify the disease early using special physical examination methods and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Treatment options include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and a class of medications called disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, as well as newer medications that inhibit cytokines, immune system cells that appear to cause some of the symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis. Orthopedic surgery, such as joint replacement and spinal reconstruction, may be an option for patients with severe cases. We also recommend exercise and physical therapy to relieve pain and increase strength and flexibility.

In addition to caring for patients, our team conducts research to improve the understanding and treatment of ankylosing spondylitis. Interested patients may have the option to receive investigational treatments by participating in clinical trials.

Awards & recognition

  • usnews-neurology

    Among the top hospitals in the nation

  • usnews-rheumatology

    Best in California for rheumatology

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.