Dr Heckroodt Laubscher

Specialist Orthopaedic Shoulder Surgeon

Calcifying Tendinitis

Calcium crystals are deposited in the tendon of the rotator cuff muscles. These can increase in size and eventually rupture causing extreme pain. It is well known that this condition can resolve itself given enough time. There are however certain cases where it causes severe pain and discomfort.
It is a common condition affecting mostly female patients in their 40 or 50’s. Patients typically suffer with severe pain (especially at night) and progressive shoulder stiffness. Patients with diabetes mellitus (type I or II) have a much higher chance of developing this condition. Other associated risk factors include trauma to the shoulder, recent shoulder surgery, or even conditions such as hypo or hyperthyroidism and Parkinson’s disease.

Recommended treatment and care needed for this condition:

Various non-surgical treatment options can provide relief in these cases. These include: subacromial cortisone infiltrations, shockwave therapy and "needling". Surgical removal with the help of arthroscopy is also an option (especially in persistent cases) and can give complete relief. The post operative recovery entails the wearing of a sling for 2 weeks and thereafter physiotherapy can commence. Recurrence of the condition after surgery can however occur in 10% of patients.

Read about some more common shoulder ailments below.