Ankylosing Spondylitis diagnosed in older people?

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I have painful, tender sacroiliac joints - as well as trochanteric bursitis - which means I have pain all around my pelvis and down my legs to my knees.  In the morning my lower back is very stiff and I'm unable to put socks on when sitting on the edge of the bed.  The pain can wake me up in the night and I'm always in pain in the morning.  The pain is like a pelvic girdle which really gets me down and I feel very tired and a bit down.

I'm 70 and have read that ankylosing spondylitis is seen in younger people.  Can it affect older people, too?  Has anyone been diagnosed with it in their later years?   

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  • Posted

    Sorry your dealing with this. Have you been diagnosed with any other inflammatory conditions? Has your doctor checked blood tests for inflammation? There are many things that can cause similar symptoms such as sacroiliac joint dysfunction or osteoarthritis (which is more common at 70) but the difference with AS is inflammation.
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  • Posted

    My Aunt was 83 at diagnosis, I was 59...  so, yes AS happens in older people.  We both had symptoms for only a couple of years.
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  • Posted

    Thank you everyone.  I've been putting the pain down solely to trochanteric bursitis and have only recently realised that it's the sacroiliac joints that are so painful as well.  It's really interesting to know that older people can get AS, thank you Pat38063.   On the other hand, I do have osteoarthritis in other joints, ben1994, so spinal osteoarthritis is certainly a possibility.  I haven't been diagnosed with any other inflammatory conditions, Backtome, but I will be seeing my GP later in the week, so I'll see what he says.  Thank you for your help.

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  • Posted

    Hiya Cheetah, I think one of the problems about diagnosis in older people is this..We have probably had this disease for so long that it has been named anything.but AS...e.g. Arthritis, neuralgia, sciatica, stress related...etc...etc... so it has never been given the actual name Ankylosing Spondilitis. Most doctors "way back then" had no idea about this disease...and many still don't..Therefore they could only name the symptoms which they knew about..So, we have suffered for many years ( myself maybe 40 years )....unable to give it a name. The use of MRI imaging was not available then and X Rays did not give a true vision of AS...OK so now we know and at 70 plus years one tends to think it's too late...But hang on....there is some hope now. Get an MRI...get a good specialist familiar with AS and the rest of your life might be manageable. I know myself a little of what you are suffering...I cannot walk more than a few steps...I can't stand up for more than a few minutes...I have injections almost daily for severe pain and I use a wheel chair for shopping etc. But then there are the good days when I laugh and jiggle around in my chair to music...and it's a good day. I hope you find the " good days" soon....gentle hugs....Gloria.

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