What is included in the long-term monitoring of 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

Patients treated nonoperatively need careful surveillance for long-tract signs or for radiographic findings that suggest impending neurologic compromise. Even after achieving a successful fusion, patients with rheumatoid spondylitis must continue to have long-term follow-up. Subaxial instability can develop below upper cervical fusions, so radiographic follow-up should be obtained periodically, even in patients who are asymptomatic.


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