Shoulder: Calcific Tendonitis


Calcific tendonitis is a condition where calcium builds up inside of a person’s rotator cuff tendon.  This can cause an accumulation of pressure in the tendon which leads to pain.

The rotator cuff is a band of four muscles and their tendons that span from the wing bone to the upper arm bone to form a “cuff” around the shoulder joint. When injured or torn from repetitive use or a traumatic injury, the rotator cuff can cause pain and limit the function of the arm. This is most common in adults over the age of 40, especially in individuals who do a significant amount of activities requiring overhead motion.

 




Signs and symptoms of an Calcific Tendonitis may include:
  • Pressure and irritation from calcium buildup
  • Acute pain, but no know injury
  • Mechanical symptoms such as clicking, popping or snapping
  • Shoulder weakness
  • Unable to lift the arm over the head
Self-Care

Modify activity to avoid pain

Medications

Anti-inflammatory painkillers for swelling and pain

Supports

Possible use of a splint or cast

Physical Therapy

Helps to reduce pain and increase motion and strength

Injections

Cortisone injections help decrease pain and inflammation

Surgery

A consult is recommended if patient is not responding to conservative treatments, if the patient is experiencing severe pain or the condition is interfering with activities of daily living.