Treatment of Bechterew’s disease (Marie-Strumpell disease) in Germany
Bechterew’s disease is a chronic illness that causes an inflammation of the intervertebral joints with the development of ankylosis (immobility due to the fusion of joint surfaces). This is a very common pathology. From 0.2 to 2% of the adult population in different countries suffer from this disease. Bechterew’s disease will lead to disability sooner or later as a result of pain, mobility disorders of the joints and spine.
Bechterew’s disease – Diagnostics
Bechterew’s disease is diagnosed in a clinical way and also with the help of X-ray techniques. Presence of such clinical signs as bilateral sacroiliitis on the X-ray in combination with 4 of the following 5 features is required to establish the diagnosis:
- Stiffness and painful sensations in the sacrum that doesn’t disappear after rest, lasting no less than 3 months
- Stiffness and pain in the thoracic spine
- Restriction of mobility in the lumbar region
- Iritis (inflammation of the iris) in an anamnesis or at the time of examination
- Restriction of chest excursion during breathing
A special scale is used for the early diagnostics of Bechterew’s disease where the points and certain symptoms are summed up. Clinical, genetic, laboratory and X-ray signs are taken into account.
Best clinics for the Bechterew’s disease diagnostics in Germany:
Academic Hospital Bogenhausen Munich
University Hospital of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich (LMU)
University Hospital Ulm
Bechterew’s disease – Treatment
Bechterew’s disease is not curable. Moreover, modern medicine doesn’t have therapeutic techniques that have proven to slow down the progression of the illness. This pathology poorly responds to the therapy. Hence, the main purpose of the treatment is to support a patient’s satisfactory quality of life and preserve his working capacity.
Conservative treatment is applied at the early stage of the Bechterew’s disease. Following drugs are prescribed for the life-long administration – NSAIDs, glucocorticoids. Therapeutic exercises, physiotherapy, and massage are used for treatment. From time to time, plasmapheresis or hemosorption courses are conducted to purify the blood from immunoglobulins. They help to relieve exacerbations of the disease.
Surgical treatment pointed at restoring the patient’s mobility is required in the certain cases. The following techniques are applied, if necessary:
- Endoprosthetic replacement of the joint (usually the hip) in the case of ankylosis of the 3rd degree
- Operations on the spine to correct the angle of the neck or lower back
- Osteosynthesis or dorsal fixation in the case of neck fractures
Further, the maintenance therapy continues, aimed at eliminating the symptoms of Bechterew's disease. If the first-line drugs become ineffective, TNF inhibitors (tumor necrosis factor) are prescribed.
Best clinics for the Bechterew’s disease treatment in Germany:
Academic Hospital Bogenhausen Munich
Charite University Hospital Berlin
University Orthopedic Hospital Hannover-Annastift MHH
Here you can find the cost of treatment for this disease at the German University Hospitals. Leave a request and we will provide a free consultation with a doctor and will start organizing the whole treatment process.
The program includes the following:
- Issuing of an invitation for getting a visa for treatment as quick as possible
- Fixing an appointment at a time convenient for you
- Preliminary organization of a comprehensive examination and discussion of the forthcoming treatment plan
- Arranging transfer from the airport to the hospital and back to the airport
- Provision of interpreting services and services of a personal medical coordinator
- If necessary, assistance in the organization of further surgical treatment
- Provision of a medical insurance against treatment complications covering up to 200,000 euro
- Preparation and translation of medical records and recommendations from the hospital
- Assistance in the subsequent communication with your attending physician, including consultations on repeated X-ray images through the unique medical document management system E-doc