What You Need To Know About Calcific Tendonitis

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When calcium deposits construct up in your tendons, calcific tendonitis happens. Calcific tendinitis and calcific tendonitis is one and the same. These calcium deposits can concentrate in one area or may occur in more than one place. Calcific tendinitis can occur anywhere in the body, but it usually influences the shoulder joint.

What is calcific tendonitis?

Calcific tendonitis is brought on by calcium accumulation in your tendons. These calcium deposits can build up in one area or may occur in more than one place. If the deposits expand larger or become inflamed, they can create serious discomfort. Calcific tendinitis frequently impacts the shoulder– or rotator cuff — though it can take place anywhere in the body.

What’s the difference between calcific tendonitis vs rotator cuff tendonitis?

Rotator cuff tendonitis — is also called tendinosis. It is related to inflammation of the bursae as well as damage to the shoulder tendon. A bursa is a thin, membrane-lined sack that assists the tendons in crossing other structures. Calcific tendinitis does not affect bursae straight. However, the bursae can come to be irritated.

Do I have calcific tendonitis or frozen shoulder?

While calcific tendinitis describes the calcification of your tendons, a frozen shoulder is a condition identified by pain and rigidity. Sometimes, calcific tendonitis is related to the frozen shoulder.

What does calcific tendonitis affect?

People between the ages of 40 to 60 have a greater threat for calcific tendinitis. Women are likewise slightly to be influenced than men. Calcific tendinitis can occur to anyone as well as is not associated with any type of specific activity.

How usual is calcific tendonitis?

Calcific tendonitis is not extremely usual. The problem takes place in less than 10% of individuals being treated for shoulder pain.

How does calcific tendonitis influence my body?

Some individuals with calcific tendinitis don’t establish pain. However, if the calcium deposits in your tendons come to be irritated, it can cause extreme pain. For some patients, this ultimately causes discomfort and stiffness.

What are the stages of calcific tendonitis?

Calcific tendinitis happens in three phases, including:

Pre-calcific: During this beginning stage, activity triggers pain, as well as a variety of activities, ends up being minimal. The area adjustments change at a cellular level.

Calcific: Calcium is launched from cells, developing calcium deposits. After a time, the body begins resorbing the calcium deposits. This stage can create substantial pain and discomfort.

Post-calcific: During this phase, the calcium deposits are replaced by healthy and balanced tissue. The range of motion starts to improve.

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Is calcific tendonitis a form of arthritis?

No. Calcific tendonitis is inflammation of the tendons, while arthritis is swelling and damage of the joint itself. Calcific tendinitis might be confused with calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate deposition disease (CPPD, or pseudogout)– a kind of joint inflammation in which calcium phosphate crystals create in the joints.


What causes calcific tendonitis?

Ageing is one factor that causes calcific tendinitis, according to some healthcare professionals. Healthcare professionals actually aren’t certain why some people create the problem, and others do not.

What are the signs of calcific tendonitis?

People with calcific tendinitis may develop a variety of different signs. These consist of:

  • Abrupt shoulder pain or tightness.
  • Extreme pain with shoulder activity.
  • Severe pain that disrupts sleep.
  • Reduced range of motion.
  • Rotator cuff tenderness.


How is calcific tendonitis diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will certainly analyze your shoulder, ask about your symptoms and examine your case history. You may be referred to an orthopaedic specialist for further tests.

What tests will be done to detect calcific tendonitis?

After checking your shoulder’s series of movements, your healthcare provider may order imaging examinations. These might include:

  • X-rays.
  • Magnetic vibration imaging (MRI).
  • Ultrasound.


What is the therapy/treatment for calcific tendonitis?

Most cases of calcific tendonitis can be treated with steroid injections, physical therapy and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs). Other calcific tendinitis therapies include:

  • Extracorporeal shockwave treatment (ESWT): This therapy supplies shock waves to the injured tendons to decrease discomfort and urge recovery.
  • Radial shockwave therapy (RSWT): Similar to ESWT, RSWT likewise focuses on reducing discomfort and promoting recovery. RSWT utilizes a different technique for producing shockwaves, yet both treatments yield the exact same results.
  • Lavage therapy: During this therapy, your healthcare provider positions a needle directly into the calcium deposit. Saline is after that infused to break it up. This may be done in conjunction with sonography to help guide the needle into the correct position.
  • Therapeutic ultrasound: Using a device, your healthcare provider guides high-frequency sound directly to the targeted area. This results in breaking down the calcium deposits.
  • Surgical treatment: A surgical procedure is necessary to eliminate the calcium deposits by hand in serious cases. Around 10% of individuals with calcific tendonitis need surgery.

Are there adverse effects of treatment?

Side effects depend on the treatment that is carried out. A lot of non-surgical options have marginal side effects that might include short-lived pain as well as swelling. Patients that undergo a surgical procedure for calcific tendinitis have a small risk of:

  • Infection.
  • A reaction to the general anaesthetic.
  • Frozen shoulder.

How long does it take to recover from surgery?

For the most part, healing after calcific tendinitis surgery takes around six weeks. You may need to use a sling to keep your shoulder from moving way too much.

How to manage symptoms at home?

Calcific tendonitis might be accompanied by moderate or severe pain. You can handle most light signs and symptoms with:


How can I decrease my risk for calcific tendinitis?

Calcific tendonitis can not be prevented entirely; there are actions you can take that may minimize your danger. If you develop pain in your shoulder, do not participate in any kind of difficult activities until you have it checked out by your healthcare professional.


What can I expect if I have calcific tendinitis?

Most of the time, calcific tendonitis can be resolved as well as fixed quickly. Routine checks by your medical care service provider are recommended– particularly if you’ve had the condition prior to.

Calcific tendinitis can also be related to frozen shoulder or rotator cuff tears. Be certain to let your healthcare provider understand if you have discomfort that doesn’t enhance with therapy.

When should I see my healthcare provider?

If you experience abrupt or intense shoulder pain, tightness of your shoulder joint or discomfort that interrupts rest, schedule an examination with your doctor. They can recognize the origin of your pain and also identify an appropriate treatment plan.


Why is calcific tendonitis so excruciating?

  • Sometimes calcium deposits can bring about take an impingement disorder. When the deposits cause your tendon to grow bigger and scrubs versus the bone, this occurs. Lots of people additionally report considerable discomfort throughout the reabsorption phase.

Will calcific tendonitis disappear on its own?

  • Calcific tendonitis ultimately goes away on its very own. If you assume you have calcific tendinitis, call your healthcare service provider so they can rule out other issues.

Can calcific tendonitis return?

  • Calcific tendinitis symptoms can wax and wane. Some people go months or years without experiencing issues. It’s an excellent suggestion to arrange routine check-ups with your healthcare supplier if you’ve had the condition in the past.

The Bottom Line

Calcific tendonitis is usually settled swiftly. Nonetheless, this condition can likewise be connected with other concerns influencing the shoulder, such as bursitis, frozen shoulder and rotator cuff tendonitis. Therefore, call your healthcare provider if you develop calcific tendinitis symptoms, such as unexpected pain, tenderness, or decreased range of movements. Prompt diagnosis and therapy will give you the very best opportunity for a quick, successful recovery.

Sources & References:
  • Wainner R, Hasz M. Management of acute calcific tendinitis of the shoulder. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy [serial online]. March 1998;27(3):231-237. Accessed 7/21/21.
  • Kachewar SG, Kulkarni DS. Calcific tendinitis of the rotator cuff: a review. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research. 2013 Jul;7(7):1482-5. Accessed 7/21/21.
  • Farin PU, Räsänen H, Jaroma H, Harju A. Rotator cuff calcifications: treatment with ultrasound-guided percutaneous needle aspiration and lavage. Skeletal Radiol. 1996 Aug;25(6):551-4. Accessed 7/21/21.
  • Darrieutort-Laffite C, Blanchard F, Le Goff B. Calcific tendonitis of the rotator cuff: From formation to resorption. Joint Bone Spine. 2018 Dec;85(6):687-692. Accessed 7/21/21.
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