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Spinal Inflammatory Arthritis Glossary

Antibody: An antibody is a protein produced by the immune system. The body produces antibodies to fight foreign substances such as a virus or toxin.

Anti-CCP (anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide): A type of antibody found in some patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Autoantibody: An antibody that attacks the body and causes autoimmune disease.

Autoimmune: When the body's immune system attacks itself.

B and T Cells: B lymphocytes and T lymphocytes are small white blood cells. B cells make antibodies to fight invaders and T cells attack. Lymphocytes secrete lymphokines to activate special types of white blood cells (macrophages) that kill invaders.

Chin on Chest Deformity: A disabling deformity sometimes caused by ankylosing spondylitis. Because the deformity is rigid, the patient may not be able to look straight ahead. This disease may be painful and make eating difficult.

Corticosteroid: Oral or injected medications that help reduce inflammation (swelling).

Crohn's disease: Chronic, inflammatory bowel disease.

DMARDs: Disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs may help slow or stop destructive changes in joints caused by rheumatoid arthritis.

Enthesopathy: A disease that occurs where tendons and ligaments attach to bones or joints.

Enthesis: Where a tendon or ligament attaches to bone.

Fusion: Occurs when two bones grow together. Fusion may occur as a result of bony overgrowth or surgery. Surgical fusion (fixation) uses devices such as rods, plates, screws, and bone graft to join bones, such as the vertebrae, together.

Iritis: Inflammation of the eye; specifically, the circular-shaped colored structure.

Ossification: Formation of bone or calcification (hardening) of soft tissue into a bone-like substance.

Osteoporosis: Porous bone disease. Bone density/mass is lost and bones become weak and susceptible to fracture.

Tumor necrosis factor: A protein that contributes to inflammatory diseases.

Uveitis: Inflammation behind the cornea of the eye.

Updated on: 12/10/09
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Spinal Inflammatory Arthritis

Inflammatory arthritis is different from osteoarthritis, the more common form of joint degeneration. This article provides information about three types of spinal inflammatory arthritis.
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