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Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis is form of arthritis that usually affects women between 25-55. Rheumatoid Arthritis is different from Osteoarthritis, (which is commonly associates with old-age). Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease involving advanced arthritic changes in the joints. The etiology of Rheumatoid Arthritis is unknown.

The symptoms include:
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Loss of function
Your primary care physician will do some or all of these blood tests to diagnose Rheumatoid Arthritis:
  • Rheumatoid factor
  • White blood cell count
  • Anemia
  • Test of the erythrocyte sedimentation rate
  • C-reactive protein
This disorder accelerates the normal degeneration processes within ligaments and joints in the neck. As a result patients often develop significant spinal stenosis or instability. A classic lesion in Rheumatoid Arthritis is the so called “Pannis of the Dens” which is an inflammatory swelling of the second cervical vertebra resulting in the compression of the spinal cord.

These patients respond well to anti-inflammatories and other medications, but will often require decompression and fusion surgery to correct the problem.


not intended as a substitute for medical advise.  Always consult your physician about your medical condidion.
Last modified: March 7th, 2011