Calcific tendonitis occurs when calcium deposits build up in the shoulder area. This condition occurs in patients aged 40 to 50 years.
The calcium deposits lead to bursitis. As a result, the patient experiences intense pain in the shoulder. This pain arises when lying down, under exertion, and when working with the arms overhead.
Those affected report sudden, seemingly spontaneous shoulder pain and a sudden inability to move their arm.
Calcific tendonitis in the shoulder is attributed to reduced blood flow to the rotator cuff. This increases the pressure on the tendon tissue and leads to a very poor supply of oxygen. As a result, fibrous cartilage tissue forms, where calcium salts are gradually deposited.
Ultrasound and X-ray are important measures for diagnosing calcific tendonitis in the shoulder. The calcium deposits are easily identified with the help of ultrasound.
To rule out other diseases, the doctor may request a CT or MRI scan in individual cases.
In most cases, conservative treatment provides adequate pain relief. Calcific tendonitis can be treated with medication to reduce the inflammation, shock wave therapy and physiotherapy.
If the condition is not improved with conservative treatment, there is the option of surgery. An arthroscopy can be carried out to remove and suction out the calcium deposits on the tendons.
The shoulder needs to be immobilised with a sling bandage for a few days after the operation. After that, full use can resume.
If left untreated, the calcium deposits can put pressure on other tendons and the bursa. This leads to shoulder impingement.
Calcium deposits can dissolve by themselves, in which case the symptoms will decrease.