Calcific tendonitis occurs when calcium deposits form in the tendons in the shoulder.
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Calcific tendonitis may be caused by:
Your risk of calcific tendonitis of the shoulder may be increased if you:
Symptoms may include:
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. It will assess your range of motion and stability.
Images may be taken of your shoulder. This can be done with an x-ray.
You may be referred to a specialist. For example, an orthopedic surgeon specializes in bones.
Most cases of calcific tendonitis resolve over time. Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you. Options include the following:
Your medical treatment plan will likely include:
You may be referred to a therapist for treatment. A therapist will use different treatments to decrease the pain and inflammation. Possible treatments include:
When the symptoms have started to decrease, you will work with the therapist to strengthen your muscles and increase your range of motion.
Lavage may help flush out the calcium deposits. A needle is placed directly into the shoulder. Normal saline is injected through the needles. The deposits are then broken up for removal.
This therapy breaks up deposits by sending sound waves to the shoulder. The body can then reabsorb the smaller pieces. This should decrease symptoms.
In some cases, surgery may be done to remove deposits. The procedure is called arthroscopy. It uses small incisions and instruments to view the joint and remove the deposits.
To prevent this condition, avoid or limit repetitive movements of the upper arm.
Arthroscopy Association of North America
Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Canadian Orthopaedic Association
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
Calcific tendonitis. Internet Society of Orthopaedic Surgery & Trauma website. Available at: http://www.orthogate.org/patient-education/shoulder/calcific-tendonitis-of-the-shoulder.html. Updated July 27, 2006. Accessed September 9, 2014.
Calcific tendonitis. Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Physicians website. Available at: http://www.orthosports.com.au/content_common/pg-calcific-tendonitis.seo. Accessed September 9, 2014.
Impingement of the shoulder. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00032. Updated February 2011. Accessed September 9, 2014.
Impingement syndrome of rotator cuff. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated June 24, 2014. Accessed September 9, 2014.
Last reviewed September 2015 by Teresa Briedwell, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS Last Updated: 9/9/2014