What are clinical manifestations of early cervical spine disease due to rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?

Updated: Feb 07, 2020
  • Author: Howard R Smith, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

Clinical manifestations of early cervical spine disease consist primarily of neck stiffness that is perceived throughout the entire arc of motion. The atlantoaxial joint is a synovial-lined joint and is susceptible to the same proliferative synovitis and subsequent instability seen in the peripheral joints. Patients with severe destruction in the hands (arthritis mutilans) are very likely to have symptomatic cervical spine abnormalities, as are those patients taking significant amounts of corticosteroids for control of RA.


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