Ankylosing spondylitis previously known as Bechterew's disease and Marie-Strümpell disease, is a chronic inflammatory disease of the axial skeleton, with variable involvement of peripheral joints and no particular structures. AS is a one of the seronegative spondyloarthropathies and has a strong genetic predisposition. The most common symptom of AS is low back pain. It mainly affects joints in the spine and the sacroiliac joint in the pelvis. In severe cases, complete fusion and rigidity of the spine can occur.
"Bamboo spine" develops when the outer fibers of the fibrous ring of the Intervertebral discs ossify, which results in the formation of marginal syndesmophytes between adjoining vertebrae.
AS typically begins in the second or third decade of the person's life and tends to occur more often in males.