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What does it mean when someone with axial spondyloarthritis has enthesitis?

When someone with axial spondyloarthritis, or axial spa for short, has enthesitis, it means that in addition to attacking the joints and bones, the immune system also attacks ligaments and tendons, especially at the enthesis, which is where they’re attached to bone. Inflammation here is called enthesitis.

This usually happens in Achilles tendons, making the heels swollen and painful. This causes big problems, as new bone gets made not where it’s needed but in ligaments.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.