Objective: The objective of this study was to describe the spectrum of computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and clinical manifestations of longus colli tendinitis.
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the clinical data, radiological features, and laboratory reports of 9 patients with tendinitis of longus colli who were seen between January 2009 and July 2011.
Results: All 9 patients presented with pain and stiffness in the neck. Five patients presented within a week of symptom onset (acute), and 4 suffered for more than 1 month before presentation (subacute). Eight of 9 patients revealed a prevertebral effusion from C1 to C4 or C5. Calcific deposits were situated inferior to the anterior arch of C1 in 6 patients, although in 3 patients calcification could not be identified at all. All 5 acute patients experienced a complete resolution of symptoms within 5 days, whereas the 4 subacute patients recovered by 3 weeks.
Conclusions: Longus colli tendinitis should be a prime diagnostic consideration in the patient who has neck pain, either acute or subacute, with associated range-of-motion limitation, and images of the cervical spine demonstrating prevertebral effusion with or without calcification anterior to C1-C2.