Phrenic Nerve issues with AS?

Posted , 3 users are following.

Anyone have breathing issues with AS? I've got worsenning breathing  over the last few months. The chest x-rays show partial eventration of the right hemi-diapgram. In other words the diaphram is collapsing my lung(s). Reading up on this it says that this can be caused by damagae to the Phrenic nerve. They are still investigating other possibilities, e.g. Cancer, but the ultra sound seemed OK, still have to get an MRI and GI inspection (WooHoo). 

A couple of docs have mentioned the AS as a possibility, but they are just guessing. From what I have read about this it is caused by issues with the cervical vertebrae. But the last visit to the Rheumy showed that my neck was still clear.

Anyone have expereience with this?

0 likes, 5 replies

Report / Delete

5 Replies

  • Posted


    ?  The only breathing issue I'm familiar with has to do with AS's impact on the sternum and ribcage.  When that stiffens up then breathing becomes impaired because you are not able to expand the rib cage as much when inhaling.  But the effects of chronic inflammation in the body is extremely variable and once the spine starts degenerating you can get all sorts of nerve related problems so who knows.

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi, Have had breathing issues since my rib to spine fusion, guess over 40 years ago now, and find have learned to automatically breathe from my stomach area. Also understand A.S. scars the lungs that can't help either. Do get out of breath easily but don't move about very much. Problems arise with surgery and anaesthetic. So you are not alone out there but definitely need an AS specialis consultant, few and far between sadly. All the best, Tony

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted


      I already have the scarring, which apparently is a caused by the  Atelectasis (collapsing Lung), not sure how the elevated diaphram fits into this. Whether it's the chicken or the egg. I'm waiting to go on Humira, so we'll see if that helps.

      They want to proactively remove my gall bladder, but from what I've read about anesthesia, I think I'll pass on this.

      Sounds like I need to go back to the rheumatologist.

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hey guys,

    ​  Can you please go into more detail about what you refer to as the anesthesia issue?  I have had several spinal surgeries through the years but I wil most likely be undergoing an open heart surgery early next year for an aortic root aneurysm.  Consequently any issues with anesthesia would be most unfortunate.  Thanks.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Anesthesia changes your regular pattern of breathing and the absorption of gases and pressures, which may combine to cause some degree of collapse of the tiny air sacs (alveoli) in your lungs. Atelectasis is particularly prominent after heart bypass surgery. Obstructive atelectasis may be caused by: Mucus plug.
      Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up