Over time, symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis often worsen (called relapse) and then improve (called remission). The prognosis (i.e., expected outcome) for most patients is good. A small number of AS patients become severely disabled.

Factors that may indicate a poor prognosis include early age of onset (younger than 16), peripheral joint (e.g., shoulder, knee) involvement, and poor response to treatment with NSAIDs.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 31 May 2006

Last Modified: 01 Sep 2015