Definition

Calcific tendonitis is a build up of calcium in the tendons in the shoulder.

Tendons of the Shoulder
Rotator cuff labeled
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Causes

It is caused by a build up of calcium in the tendons. It is not known why this happens in some people.

Risk Factors

This is more common in people who are 40 to 60 years of age. It is also more common in women.

Symptoms

Symptoms may be:

  • Pain that starts quickly
  • Pain moving the shoulder
  • A stiff shoulder
  • Problems moving the shoulder
  • Pain that makes it hard to sleep
  • Loss of muscle mass

Diagnosis

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on your shoulder. A doctor who treats bones may be needed.

Images may be taken of your shoulder. This can be done with an x-ray .

Treatment

Most people get better in time. Other options may be:

Initial Care

Initial care may be:

  • Rest to help the shoulder heal
  • Ice or heat to ease pain and swelling
  • An arm sling to keep the shoulder in place as it heals
  • Medicine to ease pain and swelling
  • Medicine injected in the shoulder to help it heal and ease pain and swelling
  • Exercises to make the shoulder stronger and help it to move better

Breaking Up Deposits

Calcium deposits may be broken up with:

  • Needles that flush the area with saltwater
  • Ultrasound or shockwave therapy

Surgery

Some people may need surgery to remove the deposits. This can be done with arthroscopy . It uses small incisions and tools to view and remove the deposits.

Prevention

It is not known why this happens in some people. This are no guidelines to prevent it.

Revision Information