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Forum Name: Rheumatology Topics

Question: severe pain Ankylosing Spondylitis?


 elledani777 - Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:24 am

Hello. I apologize if this is a little long.
I have minimal disk desiccation in my T11-L1 and L5-S1 areas. I also have Schmorl's nodes in T12-L3.
None of this screams any sort of pain though. Yet I have gone from very active to all but completely bedridden overnight.
I had a few back spasms when I was younger (age 10, 11, 12) but we blamed it on growth pains even when they were extreme. I was never in any sort of accident.

The reason I have been thinking of Ankylosing Spondylitis is because I met a woman recently who has been diagnosed with AS and she suggested I look into it. When she began to tell me about it, it fit so much into what I've been going through; the sudden onset after a normal, active lifestyle, swollen ankles, constant loss of eyesight, etc.
About a year ago I had my appendix removed in an emergency surgery. I was told it was acute appendicitis but my blood work came back completely negative of any infection.
AS is an autoimmune disease and I was told that I would have a great immune system that attacked my spine but redirected when I get sick. Which also came up when my whole household got diagnosed with Swine flu and I had the mildest case. I also feel better when I get sick (pain-wise).

The pain is chronic and severe yet my scans show nothing serious (I've been scanned from my Cervix to my S1). That and I'm HLA-B27 negative.

I've made an appointment with a rheumatologist but I'm wondering if I'm just setting myself up for failure to find anything again.
Could it be AS?
What else could I look into? I feel like I've been tested everywhere and though I'm swimming/biking regularly I'm only getting weaker.
Thank you so much for anything.
 Faye Lang, RN, MSW - Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:33 pm

Hello elledani77,

You've certainly had to cope with a lot. At the very basic level, pain is an indication of something wrong somewhere. You've had evaluations that have not disclosed a specific reason, so you're absolutely correct in pursuing further medical evaluation. Your point about AS is actually a good one; your symptoms are consistent with those of AS, although there are other diagnoses that are also possible. Seeing a rheumatologist is the best next step. I always recommend that a person maintain a daily record of their symptoms and related issues, such as feeling less pain while ill. Record the symptom, when it occurs, how long it lasts, what you were doing when it started, what helped alleviate it, if anything, and any other data that seems significant to you. Take your record with you when you see your physician(s), as it can be invaluable to them in evaluating a diagnostic pattern and when any medications might be most effectively given. It will also track any improvement or deterioration. I hope this is helpful to you, and I wish you the best of luck in finding out the basis of your health problem.

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