Purpose of review: To review recent data, in the context of what is already known, about an increased risk of vertebral fractures in ankylosing spondylitis patients.
Recent findings: Osteoporosis and fractures of the vertebral body and its dorsal arch are now well recognized features in patients with ankylosing spondylitis, but their diagnosis is still often a challenge. The risk factors and clinical consequences for fractures in ankylosing spondylitis are increasingly understood in the context of osteoimmunology and of spinal biomechanical changes in material and structural components in the spine that result in bone failure.
Summary: Diagnosing fractures of the vertebral body and its dorsal arch remains a challenge in studies and in clinical practice. Prospective studies are needed to evaluate to what degree such fractures can be prevented in ankylosing spondylitis.