bamboo spine

Last reviewed 07/2021

The term 'bamboo spine' is a radiographic description of the spine following bony ankylosis of the intervertebral joints. Ossification of the discs and the bony bridges between vertebrae creates an appearance similar to a bamboo pole.

The bony bridges are called syndesmophytes.

There is usually squaring of the vertebral bodies.

Causes include:

  • ankylosing spondylitis
  • Reiter's syndrome