Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) Only Affects the Back
No. Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) is a form of inflammatory, painful arthritis that mainly affects the lower back and spinal joints (vertebrae). However, other joints such as the knee, shoulders, hips, ribs, heels and small joints of the hands and feet can be involved. Even the eyes can be affected (uveitis), and rarely, the lungs and heart. The word spondylitis refers to inflammation of the spine; ankylosis means fusion of two bones into one. The joints between the vertebrae, and the joints between the spine and the pelvis eventually grow together (fuse). This can limit movement and cause severe pain. People with severe AS may stoop over due to the fixed position of the spine – this is termed kyphosis.