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spondylitis (spon-di-ly-tis) n. inflammation of the synovial joints of the backbone. ankylosing s. a type of arthritis that predominantly affects young males. The inflammation affects the joint capsules and their attached ligaments and tendons, principally the intervertebral joints and sacroiliac joints (see sacroiliitis). The resultant pain and stiffness are treated by analgesics, NSAIDs, and physiotherapy. The disorder can lead to severe deformities of the spine (see kyphosis, ankylosis).