Arlt AC, Steinmetz J.
Abt. Neurologie, Rheumaklinik Bad Bramstedt, Oskar-Alexander-Str. 26, 24576, Bad Bramstedt.
Arthritis of the cervical spine with instability of the atlantodental joint is a typical and frequent complicaiton in rheumatoid arthritis. Subsequent cervical myelopathy is rare but usually a severe complication. There is no stringent correlation between arthritis of cervical spine an occurrence of cervical myelopathy. Cervical myelopathy is often difficult to discern from parallel multilating peripheral joint damage, which makes the diagnosis difficult. The decision between conservative and operative therapeutic intervention has to be based on subtle clinical, neurophysiological and radiological assessment and-in particular-requires exact analysis of the course of the underlying rheumatoid arthritis and myelopathy. In this diagnostic process close collaboration of rheumatologist, surgeon and neurologist is essential.
Z Rheumatol. 2004 Aug;63(4):281-95.