Calcific Tendonitis of the Shoulder
DefinitionCalcific tendonitis occurs when calcium deposits form in the tendons in the shoulder.
|Tendons of the Shoulder|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
CausesCalcific tendonitis may be caused by:
- Overuse, repetitive motions
Risk FactorsYour risk of calcific tendonitis of the shoulder may be increased if you:
- Participate in sports that require repetitive arm use such as baseball, swimming, javelin throwing, and volleyball
- Have a job that requires repetitive arm use such as painting, carpentry, and welding
SymptomsSymptoms may include:
- Sudden onset of pain
- Intense pain with shoulder movement
- Stiffness of shoulder
- Loss of shoulder range of motion
- Pain that disrupts sleep
- Tenderness over rotator cuff
- Loss of muscle mass
DiagnosisYou 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.
TreatmentMost cases of calcific tendonitis resolve over time. Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you. Options include the following:
Medical TreatmentYour medical treatment plan will likely include:
- Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Heat and/or ice
- A steroid shot directly into your shoulder to decrease inflammation and pain
Physical TherapyYou may be referred to a therapist for treatment. A therapist will use different treatments to decrease the pain and inflammation. Possible treatments include:
- Ultrasound—a device that uses high energy sound waves to decrease pain in soft tissue
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)—used to decrease muscle stiffness or spasms
Lavage TreatmentLavage 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.
Shock Wave TherapyThis therapy breaks up deposits by sending sound waves to the shoulder. The body can then reabsorb the smaller pieces. This should decrease symptoms.
SurgeryIn 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.
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