Calcific Tendonitis

  • Introduction

  • Conservative Treatment

  • Surgical Treatment

The rotator cuff is comprised of four muscles which have tendons that cover the head of the upper arm bone (humerus). It is responsible for movement and strength of the shoulder joint, as well as stabilizing the arm in the joint socket. The rotator cuff functions in the rotation of the shoulder and lifting of the arm. When the tendon becomes irritated or inflamed this is commonly known as rotator cuff tendonitis. Some patients have calcium deposits in their rotator cuff which makes the rotator cuff susceptible to becoming inflamed. When tendinitis happens in this setting, it is called calcific tendinitis.

Symptoms of calcific tendonitis include pain, stiffness and/or weakness of the shoulder. Pain will often be felt in the front or side of the shoulder and can radiate down the arm or up towards the neck. Losing strength or motion in the arm can create difficulty in basic daily activities. It can also be extremely painful at night when lying in bed.

The majority of patients can be successfully treated without surgery. The purpose of treatment is to eliminate pain and restore normal function to the shoulder. Rest is the initial step in the process of recovery, ceasing any activity that is causing the pain to occur, and non-steroidal medications can be taken. Physical therapy is very important in order to restore flexibility and strength within the shoulder. Steroid injections directly into the inflamed area help reduce inflammation, irritation, and swelling.

Our Physicians whom specialize in conditions of the shoulder

If conservative measures prove ineffective, surgery can be considered. The arthroscopic technique is the least invasive, using small instruments and a camera in order to inspect the condition, remove the calcium and inflamed tissue, and possibly remove bone spurs that are irritating the rotator cuff. After the calcium is removed, sometimes the rotator cuff needs to be repaired.

Our Physicians whom specialize in conditions of the shoulder

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