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Can cervical spondylosis turn into arthritis?

Q) Could you tell me please if spondylolisthesis or cervical spondylosis can become or turn into arthritis? Or do they have no connection to arthritis at all?
Cheryl, Shropshire (Winter 2012)

A) These terms are confusing and doctors often use them to mean different things. Spondylolisthesis is one vertebra slipping on the next. This can occur because of minor abnormalities in the bones that are present at birth, or because of arthritis in the joints between the vertebrae. Spondylosis is another term for arthritis of the spine.

This answer was provided by Dr Philip Helliwell for the Winter 20102 edition of our magazine, Arthritis Today, and was correct at the time of publication.

Send your questions for Dr Tom Margham to enquiries@arthritisresearchuk.org


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