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What is sponyloarthropathy and how to treat it?

Q: What is sponyloarthropathy as I have been diagnosed to be suffering from it? I have been taking Indocap SR one capsule in the night and 25 mg capsule in morning and afternoon. But since one month I have been taking this medicine but I am feeling very little relief in pain and swelling of the back, knee and left ankle. My x-ray shows that many of my vertebrae are fused. I am doing physiotherapy since 20 days. Five years back, I had back pain so I visited an orthopaedic surgeon and took his treatment. I am 39 years old now. The latest doctor has asked me to do a colonoscopy to ascertain IBD arthritis. What are the symptoms of IBD arthritis? I have been doing shift duties night - evening - morning, since 13 years on weekly rotation basis. My right elbow and left ankle have become immovable so I was injected in the joint one month back. I want to know whether I should sleep on hard bed and sleep on my stomach?

A:Sponyloarthropathy is a group of disorders which have arthritis affecting the spine as a common factor. There are many causes - IBD is one, though you would have symptoms related to bowel disease, namely ulcerations as in ulcerative colitis. Ankylosing spondylitis is relatively common with fusion of spine affecting males more than females. All these are rheumatic conditions which affect multiple joints. Recently there has been good response using newer medications. Steroids are also used for control of severe symptoms. You should consult a rheumatologist who can run a panel of blood tests to see if you have any identifiable syndrome. Physical therapy and anti-inflammatory drugs are the mainstay of treatment. You should focus on mobility though this should never be forceful. Other medications like methotrexate, enbrel (etanercept) etc should be tried to get control over the disease.

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