Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Cervical myelopathy and rheumatoid arthritis: a retrospective analysis of management

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Philip Platt


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


Background: Although a number of recent studies have described the outcome of surgical treatment of patients with rheumatoid cervical myelopathy, few have reported outcome in those unable to have surgery. We sought to examine the outcome in this group of patients regardless of surgical intervention. Design: Retrospective and descriptive. Setting: Department of Rheumatology, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. Methods: Retrospective review of case notes of 40 patients (31 females, 9 males) with rheumatoid cervical myelopathy diagnosed 1988-1997. Results: The mean age was 64 years (range 36-80 years). The mean duration of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) before the development of myelopathy was 21 years (range 5-44 years). The common impairments were paraesthesia in the arms, neck pain and weakness. Twenty-five patients (60%) were deemed fit for surgery (group 1). Twenty-two patients successfully had operative treatment and the others refused. Twelve of the 15 patients who reported pain preoperatively obtained pain relief. Six of the 11 patients who were nonambulant (Ranawat class IIIB) were able to walk postoperatively. There were two deaths within six months (9% mortality) after primary surgery due to pneumonia and sepsis. Seven of the 15 patients managed conservatively (group II) because of coexisting medical complications died within six months of presentation (47% mortality). Conclusions: The study confirms the overall benefit of surgical intervention in those who are medically stable. Following surgery some functional improvement may occur even in patients with severe myelopathy.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Falope ZF, Griffiths ID, Platt PN, Todd NV

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Clinical Rehabilitation

Year: 2002

Volume: 16

Issue: 6

Pages: 625-629

ISSN (print): 0009-9260

ISSN (electronic): 1365-229X

Publisher: W.B. Saunders Co. Ltd.


DOI: 10.1191/0269215502cr531oa


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric