Ankylosing spondylitis surgery

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Overview

Surgical options, such as knee and hip replacements, can be an option for patients with ankylosing spondylitis. Surgical correction is also possible for those with severe flexion deformities, such as a severe downward curvature of the spine. This is typically performed in the neck area, although this procedure is considered risky.

Surgery

In severe cases of AS, surgery can be an option in the form of joint replacements, particularly in the knees and hips. Surgical correction is also possible for those with severe flexion deformities (severe downward curvature) of the spine, particularly in the neck, although this procedure is considered risky.

In addition, AS can have some manifestations which make anaesthesia more complex.

Changes in the upper airway can lead to difficulties in intubating the airway, spinal and epidural anaesthesia may be difficult due to calicification of ligaments, and a small number have aortoc insufficiency. The stiffness of the thoracic ribs results in ventilation being mainly diaphragm-driven, so there may be a decrease in pulmonary function.

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