Question: How do the bones fuse together?

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  1. Ankylosing spondylitis starts off as inflammation, which starts to degrade the discs in between your vertebrae. The inflammatory cells occupy the space, and start laying down a whole bunch of proteins, which eventually turn in to bone. That’s a very simple explanation, and it makes it sound like we know exactly how it works, but really we only have a very basic idea.

    We don’t know why inflammation starts, and why it starts specifically in the spine. We don’t know why this seems to lead to bone formation – in other diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation leads to joint destruction, not bone formation. And we don’t know the molecular mechanisms involved in the bone formation itself – there are several kinds of bone formation which can occur in your body, and so far we don’t know which one of these occurs in AS.

    So we have loads of questions about how the bone fusion actually occurs! If we knew the answers, maybe we can come up with new treatments for AS which target bone formation.



  1. that interesting lulu