Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) is a form of spinal arthritis, chiefly affecting young males, that eventually causes ankylosis of vertebral and sacroiliac joints.

is abnormal stiffening and immobility of a joint due to fusion of the bones.

Rarely, though more common now my lovely wife, Emma, suffers from this condition that causes her acute back and hip and all over body pain. Never the less we are moving to France just before Easter weekend and looking forward to our new life and opening our cookery school.

To combat the AS Emma is prescribed a drug called Enbrel which we will continue to get from the UK for a while. The drug has worked to a certain extent and Emma's AS is currently in remission. The continuing treatment is to be active, have regular exercise, enjoy life and be happy.

The questions, please if anyone can help are:

1.Does anyone else have or have a family member with this condition on this forum.

2.Is there a good Rheumatologist in the Dordogne, Lot-et-Garonne, Gironde area.

3. Is anyone getting prescribed drugs such as Enbrel or any other AS prescribed drugs and what is the cost?

4. Would anyone be interested in starting a discussion group/ support group for AS or arthritis in general. or is there one already.

Kind regards


Many thanks David, for your help and advice , I will look this up. Hopefully get it sorted at some point when we move out there! Thanks
Emma (John’s wife!) xx

Many thanks Paul, for your help and info. This is Emma John’s wife replying . I will look up the info you mentioned. It’s great people helping each other on this site.
Hope your wife is coping ok.
Thank u Emma xx

Hi Catherine , Many thanks for replying to John’s message, I will google AS and Survive France. This is Emma ,John’s wife who has AS. I hope your Dad is ok and managing to be happy and relatively pain free.
Emma xxoo

Hi John

if you are going to live near Duras the nearest specialist rhumatology department would be at Libourne see

CHU Bordeaux also has dedicated rhumatology

Hi John.

My wife has suffered from chronic rheumatoid arthritis for many years - resulting in spinal difficulties amongst other things. She has been prescribed and used Embrel for long periods (though not currently). The cost of the drug(s) are very expensive.

Assuming you can obtain a Carte Vitale (see others for how one goes about arranging this), your wife's condition would most probably be considered Affection de Longue Duree (ALD) i.e.. A long term or major illness. She would then receive all treatment and drugs free of charge.

We live in Herault, Languedoc. Hopital Lapeyronie, in Montpellier, is perhaps the top Rheumatoid Hospital in the Country. The treatment my wife has received there over the last 14 years has been 1st Class.

Hi John

My dad has this and I know there have been previous discussions about this on SFN. I also know the search facility on here is not great. I'd google AS and Survive France. If you can't find it let me know and I will try. I think the best specialists are going to be in Paris but I could be wrong? But your French GP will be able to refer you there and transport costs will possibly also be met.

Good luck to you and Emma!


ps from my experience of my dad's flare up's I would say being happy is key!