Atraumatic neck pain and rigidity: a case of calcific retropharyngeal tendonitis

Am J Emerg Med. 2012 May;30(4):636.e1-2. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2011.02.004. Epub 2011 Apr 22.


Neck pain with associated rigidity is a concerning clinical presentation that emergency physicians encounter regularly.We present the case of a 58-year-old man with acute neck pain, worsened by movement and swallowing, that was found to be secondary to acute calcific retropharyngeal tendonitis. Patients with severe neck pain, neck stiffness, and odynophagia may have this condition. The diagnosis can be confirmed with imaging, and response to conservative treatment is often dramatic.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Calcinosis / complications*
  • Calcinosis / diagnosis
  • Calcinosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neck Pain / diagnosis
  • Neck Pain / diagnostic imaging
  • Neck Pain / etiology*
  • Pharyngeal Diseases / complications*
  • Pharyngeal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Pharyngeal Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Tendinopathy / complications*
  • Tendinopathy / diagnosis
  • Tendinopathy / diagnostic imaging
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed