Many cases of
ankylosing spondylitis are treated without surgery (see
Diagnosing and Treating Ankylosing Spondylitis). These treatments may include anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), steroids,
and drugs, and
If the disease has progressed to the point that daily activities are severely
impaired, then surgery may be an option, including joint replacement surgery.
In extremely rare cases, a procedure called an osteotomy with fusion may
be used to fuse curved vertebrae together and straighten the spine. The
goal of surgery is to eliminate compression of the nerve roots, and the
second is to stabilize and fuse the spine with grafts, screws, and rods.
The most common surgical procedure for ankylosing spondylitis is:
Laminectomy: A laminectomy is performed to relieve pressure on the nerve roots. This
surgical procedure involves removing part of the vertebra bone called
the lamina in order to access the disk. This minimally invasive technique
requires a small incision in the back, where the muscles are pushed aside
rather than cut. Removing the lamina takes the pressure off the spine.The
surgery lasts approximately 1-2 hours.
The spine surgeons at the
Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center are part of the team at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, which was rated
by US News and World Report as the #1 hospital in New York. Our Neurology
and Neurosurgery program ranks as the #1 program in New York. Together,
the NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center team is the best
choice for your back (see
Doctors Who Treat Ankylosing Spondylitis).
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