How would my doctor know if my rheumatoid arthritis is also affecting my spine?

The authors of a recent study were able to conclude that more extensive involvement in the peripheral joints seemed to correlate with more extensive involvement in the lumbar spine. Radiographs and MRI were used in this study to evaluate lumbar vertebral bodies and discs. Sixty one percent of patients with the most severe classification of their rheumatoid arthritis had grade II or grade III lesions, number III being the most severe on a grading scale from zero to III.

R. Sakai et. al. The Spine Journal. July 2008. Volume 8. Number 4. Pp. 605-611.

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