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January 1930


Arch Surg. 1930;20(1):159-162. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1930.01150070162008

Spondylitis deformans is to be differentiated from the deformities of the spine produced by arthritis, vertebral tuberculosis, developmental and postural defects, such as scoliosis and round shoulders, and the stiff backs incidental to trauma. As described by von Bechterew, Strümpel and Marie, the spinal disease considered forms a distinct clinical picture with these characteristics: a chronic progressive stiffening of the spine engrafted on a slowly increasing flexion deformity that ultimately leaves the back rigid in a stooped position, frequently extending to involve the costovertebral joints to produce a rigid thoracic cage and sometimes involving the hips and shoulder joints. It usually attacks young men in the postadolescent period. The typical case presents a startling picture. The patient walks along with his body stooped far over so that he is facing the ground. To face the person with whom he talks he must rock his entire body back and roll his

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