What is included in supportive care for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) of the cervical spine?

Updated: Aug 13, 2019
  • Author: Steven R Garfin, MD; Chief Editor: Jeffrey A Goldstein, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Nonoperative treatment of rheumatoid involvement of the cervical spine is supportive. Early aggressive medical management is important in the global sense, as cervical involvement has been correlated with disease activity. Collars can be used for comfort purposes. Rigid cervical collars most likely do not prevent subluxation; however, they may prevent reduction of a deformity by limiting extension. [48, 49] Skin sensitivity in this population also causes problems with rigid orthoses. Patients being monitored need careful surveillance for long-tract signs or for radiographic findings suggesting impending neurologic compromise (see Plain Radiography).


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