Diagnosis of Spondyloarthropathies includes a detailed medical history, physical examination and laboratory investigations. Imaging tests such as X-ray of the sacroiliac joint and spine may be useful in detecting spondylitis (inflammation of the spine). Some patients may also be tested for the presence of HLA-B27 gene.
Treatment of spondyloarthopathies is aimed at relieving pain and stiffness and prevention of any deformity. Regular physical exercise can retard the progression of the disease and also improve the functional ability of the joints. Medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs and corticosteroids can provide symptomatic relief. For severe pain, corticosteroids can be directly injected into the joints or tendons. Antibiotics are prescribed for management of reactive arthritis. TNF alpha blocker injections have been found to be quite effective in managing the symptoms. Individuals prone to vertebral fracture are advised to wear a halo vest to stabilize the spine.
Surgical intervention is indicated in severe cases and may involve spinal fusion, osteotomy or total hip replacement.
Complications such as osteoporosis, uveitis, inflammation of aortic valve in the heart, psoriasis and intestinal inflammation may occur in some patients and may require appropriate treatment by a physician, ophthalmologist, dermatologist or gastroenterologist.