List 4 causes of neck stiffness

[Click here to toggle visibility of the answers]

College Answer

 

°     Meningitis/encephalitis

°     Subarachnoid hemorrhage

°     Post fossa syndrome

°     Tetanus

°     Cervical spondylitis

°     Neck abscess

°     Wry neck / Torticollis

 

Discussion

To this predictable list, I could also add

  • dural sinus thrombosis
  • epidural abscess
  • cervical facet joint arthritis
  • "whiplash" - musculoskeletal hyperextension injury

And many others. One can go right to town on this. Consider a cause for neck stiffness from any of the major pathological categories, and I guarantee you will find one.

Observe:

 

Vascular:

  • Dural sinus thrombosis
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage

Infectious:

  • Epidural abscess
  • Neck abscess
  • Meningitis/encephalitis
  • Tetanus

Neoplastic:

  • C-spine vertebral metastasis or primary

Drug-related:

  • Dystonic reaction
  • Withdrawal

Idiopathic/inflammatory:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Cervical spondylitis
  • Torticollis

Autoimmune:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis

Traumatic

  • Whiplash
  • C-spine dislocation, subluxation or fracture
  • Prolonged neck hyperextension during surgery (eg. tracheostomy)

Endocrine:

  • Hypocalcemia