After 11 years since first diagnosed with AS, and having been cared for by rheumy's in southern and northern California, including Stanford's head of Immunology/Rheumatology, Dr. Sam Stroeber who offered nothing more than an ancient DMARD that doesn't work, I found the most incredible Rheumatologist, ever. She is at UCSF, 400 Parnassus, SF, CA 415-353-2497, her name is Dr. Lianne Gensler, she is the Director, Ankylosing Spondylitis Center at UCSF And according to Medifocus.com this is in the top 10 of hospitals for AS in the entire Nation.
After 11 years of MRI's, every NSAID known to man, self-injecting methotrexate, getting shingles twice from Enbrel, Remicade infusions for over a year, many DMARDS, I continued my "mission" to find the best doctor. My first appt. with Dr. Gensler including x-rays, labs, physical exam, interview, etc., I was there for 3 incredible hours. She was the first doctor to tell me that I had limited AS and that it was unlikely that I would end up with bamboo spine. She was the first doctor to inform me that in addition to AS that my problems were also coming from DDD (degenerative disk disease) and that considering any further attempts with biologic meds like Humira and the like was not worth the risk of the serious potential side effects. She does not offer pain management, but she knows this disease inside & out, she is a warm and caring doctor, has a sense of humor but is very serious. She agrees that exercise, the best ones for strengthening core muscles were most important since the stronger they are the more stress they will take off of our back. I have found the best rheumatologist for me, and I hope those of you looking for greatness in Northern California will be able to make the drive. You will never need to see another rheumatologist, I've never said this about any of the more than 7 rheumatologists that have provided my care. Good luck, and stay strong!