Ankylose This! Living with Ankylosing Spondylitis

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Ramesses II didn't have AS?

When you've got an obscure disease, it helps to know that a few famous or semi-famous people have had the same disease. In the case of ankylosing spondylitis, you have to look a little harder. Ed Sullivan had it -- that explains the stooped shoulders. Former baseball player Rico Brogna, who retired at the end of the 2001 season, has it. And the Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II is supposed to have had it.

Except now maybe not. According to Canadian and French radiologists, Ramesses, who reigned from 1279 to 1212 BCE, had a degenerative arthritic disorder called diffuse skeletal idiopathic hyperostosis instead of AS.

So much for having a chariot-riding warrior king who fathered 92 kids as your role model.

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