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Rheumatoid arthritis and neck pain
  1. R Thonse1,
  2. M Belthur2
  1. 1Hull Royal Infirmary, Hull
  2. 2Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Thonse;

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Answers on p 713.

A woman aged 55 years, with a longstanding history of polyarticular rheumatoid arthritis, presented with neck pain. There were no symptoms of neurological involvement. Examination revealed mild tenderness at the upper cervical spine. There were no signs of any neurological deficit. Lateral radiographs of the cervical spine (in flexion and extension) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the cervical spine are shown (figs 1 and 2).

Figure 1

Lateral radiographs of the cervical spine: (A) flexion view and (B) extension view.

Figure 2

MRI scan of the neck.


  1. What are the features seen on the lateral radiographs of the cervical spine?

  2. What abnormalities are seen in the MRI scan?

  3. What is the likely diagnosis?

  4. How can this condition be treated?

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