Benign nuchal rigidity: the emergency department evaluation of acute prevertebral calcific tendonitis

West J Emerg Med. 2012 Feb;13(1):114-6. doi: 10.5811/westjem.2011.4.6766.


Acute prevertebral calcific tendonitis (APCT) is a rare condition, the exact incidence of which is unknown. It is of particular interest to the emergency physician owing to the other potentially devastating conditions in the differential diagnosis of neck stiffness and/or odynophagia (including retropharyngeal abscess, infectious spondylitis, and meningitis.) In contrast, APCT has a benign clinical course and can be easily managed in the emergency department. We will present a case of APCT, followed by a brief discussion of the disease and current literature.