Juvenile Ankylosing Spondylitis

Juvenile ankylosing spondylitis (JAS) is a type of arthritis that affects the spine and the sites where the muscles, tendons and ligaments are attached to bone.

  • JAS strikes young people, typically between ages 17 and 35, but it can occur in children and older adults as well.
  • JAS is thought to affect males two to three times more often than it does females.

JAS causes inflammation of the spine and large joints, resulting in stiffness and pain. The disease may result in:

  • erosion at the joint between the spine and the sacroiliac joint (hip bone)
  • bony bridges forming between vertebrae in the spine, fusing those bones together
  • bones in the chest may fuse

The Rheumatology Program at Boston Children's Hospital cares for children and adolescents with a broad range of rheumatologic and inflammatory diseases, including juvenile ankylosing spondylitis. As one of the largest and most experienced rheumatology programs in the United States, we see more than 3,000 children in our outpatient clinic each year. More than 600 children are treated on an inpatient (hospitalized) basis each year.