Calcific Tendonitis of the Shoulder
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:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Heat and/or ice
- A steroid shot directly into your shoulder to decrease inflammation and pain
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
When the symptoms have started to decrease, a therapist will help to strengthen your muscles and increase 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.
Shock Wave Therapy
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.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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Arthroscopy Association of North America http://www.aana.org
Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://orthoinfo.aaos.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
When it Hurts to Move—Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://whenithurtstomove.org
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