Why does it take so long for a correct diagnosis of AS?
Unfortunately it often takes time for the symptoms to declare themselves in a way that puts the pieces of the puzzle together. Would be great if there was standard blood test
why does it take so long: Many practitioners check for r factor, and if that's negative, they do not refer to rheum. And many general practitioners are not up to speed on the various early symptoms of arthritis, especially AS and PSA that doesn't show the traditional sausage digits. Even with RD Drs, there is discrepancy on diagnosis; do you need to have damage shown by imaging to get a diagnosis, or can you be diagnosed prior to damage to prevent damage, and can you be diagnosed if you are gene negative. And imaging, my experience has been imaging reports only answer what is asked. this leaves much on the table, esp for drs that only read reports and do not view the xray or other imaging.
I was and take sulfasalazine and methotrexate and have stopped plaquenil. In addition I have tried with no success humira, ebrel and orencia. I am now using remicade and leflumonide has been added to the dmards. The leflumonide was just increased to 20mg.
wow - did your doc use RA treatments with any success before you were ultimately diagnosed with AS?
I was first diagnosed with RA. My back and rib pain were not addressed. I was told it was not a symptom of RA. There was no evidence by xray of AS. 3 years later as my back and rib pain got worse and I also had heel pain and severe sciatic pain. The xrays now show AS and my diagnosis includes AD.