infections and inflammation of the cervical spine
are rare, if they are neglected for a period of
time, or if there is a delay in diagnosis, they
can become a significant source of pain and disability.
Bone and joint infections anywhere in the body
can be crippling and life threatening, and infections
in the cervical spine are no exception.
is a rare condition that can cause back and neck
pain. It is a rheumatic inflammatory disease that
affects the spine and sacroiliac joints. This
disease is three times more likely to develop
in men than in women and it usually occurs between
the ages of 20 and 40. Although it primarily attacks
the spine (usually the low back first), this chronic
and painful disease can also attack other joints,
tendons and ligaments, and the chest wall. Though
its cause is unknown, ankylosing spondylitis tends
to run in families which suggests that genetics
plays a role in the development of this disease.
A patient is 10 to 20 times more likely to have
ankylosing spondylitis if a parent or sibling
also has this condition.
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
is a type of inflammatory arthritis that affects
almost 200,000 children in the United States.
JRA is a disease that causes painful, swollen,
and stiff joints in children, most commonly in
large joints like the knee. JRA has three well-defined
subsets: a monoarticular form, which means that
that the disease affects only one joint; a polyarticular
form, which means that it affects many joints,
and a systemic form, which means that it affects
other organs in the body besides the joints. The
systemic form of the disease is most often associated
with high fevers and rash, in addition to arthritis.
The polyarticular and systemic forms of the disease
are the two types that commonly affect the cervical
Rheumatoid Arthritis is
among the most debilitating forms of arthritis
causing joints to ache, throb and even deform
over time. The exact cause of this inflammatory
condition is not known, but it is believed to
be caused by an attack on the synovium (tissue
that lines the joints) by the body's immune system.
The upper cervical spine can be damaged by the
inflammation that is caused by rheumatoid arthritis.
This disease is three times more common in women
than in men and usually occurs between the ages
of 20 and 50. Just like the gradual destruction
of other joints in the body, several joints between
the base of the skull and uppermost vertebral
bodies in the cervical spine are very susceptible
to damage from rheumatoid arthritis.