The shoulder is a complex joint that depends on the smooth
operation of a number of muscles, tendons, ligaments and other
tissues to attain fluid motion. The
rotator cuff, a cluster
of four muscles and their respective tendons at the top of the
humerus, or upper-arm bone, is one of the areas in the shoulder
most susceptible to injury and chronic ailments.
Calcific tendonitis refers to a build-up of calcium in the
rotator cuff (calcific
deposit). When calcium builds up in the area, fluidity of the
joint is reduced, causing pain to the patient. The pain can
initially be extremely intense. This usually settles over a few
months and there is only pain in certain positions of the arm
and when lying on the shoulder.
The calcific (calcium) deposit lies within the rotator cuff
tendon where it reduces the space between the rotator cuff and
the acromion, as well as affecting the normal function of the
rotator cuff. This can lead to
between the acromion and the calcium deposit in the rotator cuff
when lifting the arm overhead.
Calcific Deposit causing
Calcific Tendinitis seen on X-Ray
of calcific tendinitis involves:
and anti-inflammatory medications
- keeps your shoulder strong and flexible and reduce the irritation
steroid injections - reduces inflammation and control the pain
Surgery is required - the goal of any surgery to reduce the effects
of impingement, by increasing the amount of space between
the acromion and the rotator cuff tendons, which will then allow
for easier movement and less pain and inflammation.
The calcium deposit is also debrided and released at the same
time. The operation
Arthroscopic Subacromial Decompression
& Excision of the Calcific Deposit.
Videos of the Arthroscopic Release of the Calcium Deposit:
Click on Picture to see release of the
calcium from the tendon. The released calcium looks like a
Sometimes the calcium looks more like
toothpaste, as in this video.
1. Chronic Shoulder - A