Spinal fractures complicating ankylosing spondylitis. A long-term followup study

Arthritis Rheum. 1983 Jun;26(6):751-9. doi: 10.1002/art.1780260608.


Twenty-two spinal fractures in 20 patients with chronic ankylosing spondylitis are reported. Nineteen fractures occurred in the cervical region. Fourteen of the fractures were caused by minor falls, 3 by falls down steps, 4 by motor vehicle accidents, and 1 by cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Long-term followup (mean 3.2 years) of 9 fractures diagnosed early and managed conservatively showed bony union of all fractures. No patient deteriorated neurologically and 3 patients made major recovery. Long-term followup is also reported on 6 patients in whom the diagnosis was delayed. The difficulties in diagnosis and management are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fractures, Bone / diagnostic imaging
  • Fractures, Bone / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Spinal Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Spinal Injuries / etiology*
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing / complications*
  • Time Factors