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Calcific Tendonitis


A buildup of calcium develops in the muscles that move the shoulder. This causes pain and inflammation.


Common Causes

Repetitive overhead use of the arm, frequent lifting: tennis, hammering, gardening, weightlifting; occasionally there is a history of trauma to the shoulder.



Pain in the shoulder or down the side of the arm. Pain with lifting the arm overhead, or sleeping on the injured side.


Physical Findings

Tenderness, positive ‘impingement test.’



X-Rays, physical examination and MRI (rarely).


Non-operative Treatment

Rest, anti-inflammatory medication and physical therapy. Possibly a trial of a corticosteroid injections.


Surgical Treatment

Shoulder arthroscopy, with subacromial decompression.


Injury Comment

Generally cured with non-operative care. Arthroscopy is highly successful, with an early return to activities, and extremely low risk of recurrence. Prolonged or worsening symptoms may be signs of a rotator cuff tear.