Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Orthopedic Teaching

Spine Case 9 History/Physical Exam

Ankylosing Spondylitis


History and Physical Exam

Family history of AS is common (HLA-B27 antigen), but only 1% of those who are HLA-B27 positive develop the disease. The most common presentation is in young men with a history of low back pain for greater than 3 months that improves with exercise and is not relieved by rest. These patients are prone to spine injury from less severe mechanisms, so be very suspicious of spine fracture in AS patients with pain even after minimal trauma.