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Musculoskeletal system



rheumatoid arthritis: joint manifestations

    early signs:
  • fusiform periarticular soft tissue swelling (result of effusion)
  • regional osteoporosis (disuse and local hyperemia)
  • widened joint space
  • marginal + central bone erosion (base of 4th proximal phalanx most common)
  • change in ulnar styloid and distal radioulnar joint
  • atlantoaxial dislocation
  • giant synovial cysts

    late signs:
  • flexion/extension contractures with ulnar subluxation/dislocation
  • destruction/fusion of joints
  • elevation of humeral heads (tear/atrophy of rotator cuff)
  • resorption of distal clavicle
  • erosion of superior margins of posterior portions of 3-5th ribs
  • destruction/narrowing of disc spaces
  • destruction of zygapophyseal joints without osteophyte formation
  • resorption of spinous process
  • protrusio acetabuli (from osteoporosis)

Yong H. Hahn, MD  -  2 February 1995
Last updated:  1 October 2013


Related CHORUS documents:
absent distal clavicle
ulnar styloid erosions
atlantoaxial subluxation
psoriatic arthritis
ankylosing spondylitis


Copyright © 2013, Charles E. Kahn, Jr.