Ultrasound-guided Barbotage for the treatment of Calcific Tendonitis: Minimum five-year follow-up

Authors: ASC Bidwai, L Funk

Purpose: To assess the longer-term outcome for patients that have undergone ultrasound guided needle barbotage in the treatment of calcific tendonitis of the shoulder.

Methods: An initial cohort of 20 patients who underwent barbotage were reviewed to determine improvement in symptoms, progression to surgery, subsequent interventions, complications and improvement in terms of Oxford and Constant shoulder scores. Follow-up was available for up to eight years following the index procedure. 

Results: In the initial year after presentation five patients failed to improve and were offered surgical decompression and excision of calcium. A further four patients had re-presented with ongoing symptoms at the 4-year mark, all of which settled down with non-operative management. 

Discussion: This study is the only study to follow-up the results of needle barbotage in the medium to longer term. We are able to demonstrate that the technique can avoid surgery in 75% of patients even after one year from the date of the procedure. After this time period although patients may return with symptoms usually in keeping with impingement, they can be managed without surgical intervention.  

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