Though 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.
Ankylosing spondylitis 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
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 spine.
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.
1171 East Putnam Avenue - Greenwich, CT 06830 Yale Spine Center - 1 Long Wharf Drive, 6th Floor - New Haven, CT (203) 785-2807
Dr. Debra Petrucci
Please call for an appointment.
Insurance Plans Accepted,
Medicare, Workman's Compensation NY, NY No Fault
Patients should check with their insurance plan for out of network plan