Calcific tendonitis occurs when calcium deposits form in the tendons in the shoulder.
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.
Arthroscopy Association of North America
Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Canadian Orthopaedic Association
When it Hurts to Move—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 Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114840/Impingement-syndrome-of-rotator-cuff. Updated May 20, 2015. Accessed September 29, 2016.
Last reviewed September 2016 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.