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Shoulder pain from calcific tendonitis

Has anyone developed a calcific tendonitis in the shoulder?  If so, what have you been able to find that helps with the pain?  Has anyone had surgery or ultrasound for it and what were the results?  I have been having so much pain with this and have not been able to find any treatment for it.  I am scared to have the surgery as I hear it may not change things and I may just have to live with this pain as it is now chronic.  Any advice??
135 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi, I had a rotar cuff tear and had an arthoscopic surgery,8 weeks ago which revealed that I also had a spur,calcification on the base of my collar bone and damaged tendons in my bicep. So, I'm still in recovery and going to physical therapy which is very painfull now since i just started aggressive kind of therapy. I can't tell you the complete results of  surgery now till i comlpletely heal. Inspite of all the pain i've gone throt=gh after surgery and going through now, i have to say that i'm glad I went through the surgery and didn't wait anylonger. hope this helps.
Avatar universal
I wish you a speedy recovery.  I, too am thinking of that type of surgery.  How was the surgery itself?  I have a lot of pain right now and can't sleep at nights because of it.  I am willing to try almost anything.  Have you had any cortisone injections for it?  I am also in physical therapy.  There is concern that I also have a rotator cuff tear so am awaiting an MRI.  I just want something to get rid of this pain.  Please let me know how you do with the pain and movement since your surgery.  Thanks.
Avatar universal
Hi there,

I've had shoulder tendonitis for several years now. I've tried Physio, Accupuncture, Cortisone injections, Chiropractic and even surgery (about 16 months ago), but it's still not 100% better (it throbs and aches from time to time).

The biggest mistake I made was leaving it too long after I had noticed the problem without seeing a doctor. I assumed it was a pulled muscle, so just generally rested it, and didn't actually see a doctor about it for about 5 months. Obviously by then a lot of damage was done.

My recommendation would be to see a Physiotherapist about it IMMEDIATELY and follow the exercises to the letter. I'm sure you're already being steered in that direction.

The first cortisone injection I had did help the pain, although not cure it, but the second one wasn't as good.

I've also had some trigger point pain issues in the rotator cuff muscles as a result of the rehabilitation exercises which is just incredibly annoying!
Avatar universal
just concerned-saw your posting back in september as i too was looking for others with calcific tendonitis in the shoulder. i had been dealing with this for quite some time but not as long as you. x-rays showed a very large calcium deposit and i tried  2 times with cortisone shots. i intially thought the first was going to work,however it only gave me relief for 5 weeks and the symptoms started again and the second did nothing. it was at that point my options became live with it or surgery. i opted for surgery because the pain is chronic and i couldnt stand it anymore. i am now 1 month post-op and very glad i had it done. in my case because the calcium deposit was so large and there for so long it ruined my tendon so not only did i need the calcium removed but it then caused me to have rotator cuff surgery. it couldnt be done arthroscopically so i have about a 4 inch scar on my shoulder but i'll gladly live with that to have that pain gone. ive got probably 3 months yet before my shoulder is fully functional and the recovery from this surgery is tough but the i can see and feel the difference and i would do it again if i had to.i would certainly take the time to at least go talk with an orthopeadic surgeon,if you havent,just to get all your options and any other questions answered. i know how awful this is to try and live with and i wish you the best.
Avatar universal
I have calcifidic tendonitis and have been suffering for over a year with it.  I have also been through physical terapy, had numerous cortisone shots, and had needle aspiration which I don't recommend to anyone.  I can't sleep at night and have finally decided to undergo surgery in two weeks.  The doctor says that I can be out of work from 2 weeks to 8 months.  I would rather have the surgery than go through this paid every moment of every day.  I would like to hear of others that have had the surgery and what results you have or have not experienced.  Thank you.
Avatar universal
suryka-i saw your posting and could give you some more info about my expierence with surgery but im not sure if you are having the calcium removed arthroscopically or having open shoulder surgery. mine was done open and i am now almost 7 weeks post op. i dont want to give you details if the surgery's arent the same. i also had to have that tendon repaired because of the calcium deposit so thats where the rotator cuff surgery came in. good luck. gothelp57
Avatar universal
i had ultrasound done on my right shoulder in may of 2007...it showed that i have a bicep tendon effusion,calicfication and also rotar cuff issues.I have been on modified duties since then...my Dr. one appointment stated he was going to send me to a  specialist..but didn't,then at the next appointment mentioned nothing about it.I went to see him the other day again ...we talked about a speciallist again...but i feel like he thinks i am making up my pain i feel...my worst is at night ...especially when i go to bed ..laying is very painful and of course rolling isn't the nicest feeling either.I experience horrible throbbing in my bicep area and i find it very hard to lift or push and pull .I know this pain i feel is real and i go to therapy three times a week and do all the exercises to my best ability.My therapist stated she could understand why i am in so much discomfort,from reading my ultrasound results...my Dr. stated i just have swelling !!!!!..can anybody relate to my pain and let me know that i do feel this horrible pain and that it is not just all in my head ...thank you.....   litllena
Avatar universal
I too have calcified tendonitis and I am going to see an orthopedic surgeon tomorrow after having pain for the past 2 weeks.  My symptoms started years ago and I have had flare ups many times.  Usually  the pain goes away within a few days of resting, taking antiinflammatories, and ice/heat.  The latest flare up is by far the most painful as I cry myself to sleep each night ( and I'm not a whimpy chick).  My chiropractor says he can make it feel better but I have doubts as to when it may return.  My shoulder is killing me..I can relate to your pain.  It is definitely not all in your head.  I think you may need to find a new doctor!!  Hang in there...flicka66
Avatar universal
ty for your response..sorry i haven't replied sooner as i have been quite busy and trying to take care of my arm issues...i am going to see a specilaist (sports medicine dr.) as a referral.my pain has subsided slightly as i hardly use my arm best to my abilities...and when i do...i suffer.i am really  discouraged for my rehabilitation is being quite slow.maybe i need to be more patient..i don't know ...well ty again ...and i knew this pain was for real...take care
Avatar universal
Good day.....I was just diagnosed with calcific tendinitis.  I could barely raise my arm above shoulder height and had impaired movement of the shoulder arm behind my back.   Pain was a 7 to 8 on a scale of 1 to 10.   Couldn't sleep one night last week.

I have an appointment with the orthapaedic (surgeon ?) doctor this coming Friday (9/7).  The pain is subsiding and arm movement is returning to normal!  

Should I cancel the appointment?  Not sure that there is anything that can be done.  Your thoughts?
Avatar universal
My partner has recently had Calcific Tendonitis diagnosed and is in absolute agony. My latest offering of relief for him is a large dose of vitamin C and arnica gel. Has anyone tried accupuncture for this? If so, how effective has it been.
Avatar universal
even if your symtoms are subsiding...my best bet would be for you to still go to the apointment.my doctor told me ...even though my arm will eventually get better(when i don't know)...that when i return to work i will have these issues return and with my job and repetative movements,will cause aggravation to it again...he told me to look for another job(how sweet huh?).
Avatar universal
I went to the appointment as suggested...confirmed the calcific tendonitis.  The calcium deposits are about the size of a dime in circumference and 1/4" thick.   In addition, I have artheritis in the A/C joint, and two bone spurs on the acromion....not sure how big they are.   As the doctor was manipulating my arm, he also heard clicking in my joint(?).  It doesn't happen everytime I move my shoulder, but I now aware of it.   Doc gave me cortisone shot.  Helped a little...

Wondering if I should push for an MRI?  

Avatar universal
Hi all.

I've had shoulder pain for 8 years now, i've had 3 cortisone injections 1 year of physio therapy an MRI which led to an operation, to which my doctor thought i had a rotor cuff tear (it turned out i didn't) so i changed my manual job and gave up my favorite hobby (golf) only to find that 2 years down the line i'm in the same position again!
Only this time the pain feels twice as bad, and its moved to my color bone and shoulder blades, and some times at the top of my spine.

I have not been back to my doctor about the problem as i get the feeling he thinks i'm lying about the pain!

Its always uncomfortable but at night its unbearable, i honestly cant sleep and get so annoyed with the pain, sometimes i want to just bang it against something in hope that i will get a pain else where to take my mind of the shoulder pain.

I've been to see a physio again even though i dont think it helps much.
She did some manipulation and tonight is some of the worst pain i've had in my entire life.

People hve recommended accupuncture so i'll give that a try. I would try anything now!
Avatar universal
Have had shoulder pain since Nov 07. Had 6 visits to Physio. She then recommended I see a consultant who gave me 3 steroid injections, on 3 visits. Very little improvement. So on this Friday I am going to a doctor for acupuncture...

The other option I considered is called The Alexander Technique. It is based on posture and getting your body movements right?

Here's hoping.
Avatar universal
I was diagnosed with Calcific Tendinitis just a few months ago.  Finished with the Physical Therapy about a month ago.  I now have a little better mobility, however I still have the pain and all the same symptoms as before with the swelling and painful issues during bedtime and during the day.  

Have been researching the possibility of Ultrasound-guided percutaneous (through the skin) therapy.  It's an alternative to surgery.  I believe in straying away from any kind of major surgery.

The procedure goes like this.  For the 10 minute procedure, the shoulder is anesthesized and, with ultrasound guidance, a radiologist injects a saline solution into the rotator cuff to wash the area and break up the calcium.  A second needle is used to aspirate, or withdraw, the calcium residue.  Recovery time is about an hour.  Calcifications that are completely treated do not ever return.  

Now I did not get this information from a professional it was an article I read on the Web from the Radiologist Society of North America http://www.rsna.org  

I will be taking this to my doctor to ask him about it.  Before I have anything done to my body I try to research as much as I can on the web.  If you don't research it and or ask questions you just won't get the info straight from the horses mouth.  Anymore it's like pulling teeth to get information out of anyone.  

Good luck to everyone else and I will be back as soon as I talk to my orthopedic doctor..
Avatar universal
After physio (6 sessions); steroid injections (3) and now acupuncture by a GP (3), the shoulder pain is still there, 6 mos later. I am 66 and our daughter is getting married in Italy in 3wks time.

Anti-inflammatory pills have not helped much either. The Rheumatoligist suggests intraveneous anti-inflammatory injection. This takes 2 hrs in a hospital. Has anyone tried it?

It seems like I probably should have an MRI scan and see what that shows up?

Any advice or suggestions on what I might do next, please?

Avatar universal
I was diagnosed with shoulder arthritis two years ago.  Last July I fell hard and actually lacerated a finger through the nail bed and my head.  At the same time I wonked my body pretty badly so, when the pain in the shoulder got worse (after the fall) I started researching and thought, "this can't be arthritis".  I went to my regular doc and he referred me to an Ortho doc.  He did an exam, took xrays and said, no to arthritis but that I had one of the largest calcium deposits on the rotator cuff that he had ever seen!  An MRI later (it is huge btw, and I cannot understand why my old doc did not see it) we then talked treatment. I had had two steroid shots that never worked - - the first lasted 2 weeks and the second not at all.  The doc said a deposit that large would not disolve by itself (apparently some do and that is the most painful stage).  He suggested surgery.  I have been in such intense pain that I have decided to take the plunge and have the surgery - here's the catch, he won't know until he gets in how much surgery there will be . . . in other words, he will start arthroscopically but, he may have to do open surgery.  Has anyone had experience with this?  And if so, how is it recovering?

Thanks and wish me luck.
Avatar universal
Hi KNN555, how are you? How is your shoulder pain? When is your shoulder surgery scheduled? Here is some information on the calcific tendinits causing shoulder pain and restriction of motion and I hope this may be helpful to you in knowing more about the calcific tendinitis: "Calcific tendonitis is a condition that causes the formation of a small, usually about 1-2 centimeter size, calcium deposit within the tendons of the rotator cuff. These deposits are usually found in patients at least 30-40 years old, and have a higher incidence in diabetics". Link: ttp://orthopedics.about.com/od/rotatorcuff/a/calcific_2.htm
Physical therapy and heat therapy is helpful. Discuss about your concerns with the surgeon well before your surgery. Take care and keep updating.
Avatar universal
When the acupuncture did not help my shoulder pain, the doctor put me on tablets (1/night) that have solved the pain more or less completely. They are called Amitriptyline tabs 25mg. Apparently, around for some time, they were originally prescribed as anti-depressants BUT they were not effective for that condition. However, it was discovered that they work well to relieve pain of the nerve / sciatica type.

The wedding in Italy was terrific and my shoulder never bothered me!

436973 tn?1217950689
Congrats on the wedding!   Good to hear you feel better.
Avatar universal
I was diagnosed with calcific tendonotis last summer (one year ago).   I had been swimming aggressively for over a month when my shoulder began to bother me more and more each day.  The doctor used x-rays and MRI in the diagnosis and said my deposits were large.  He suggested surgery.  A second doctor suggested the same.   Both led me to believe teh calcium deposits will not go away by themselves.  I have decided to live with the pain so far, and I am swimming again this summer, but have to use a slightly exaggerated rolling motion of my body lengthwise during each stroke because of the pain.   Perhaps I'm doing more damage to muself (?)   Meanwhile, I cannot get to sleep for hours because of the pain when I lie down.  I have found that a combination of one aspirin and the over-the-counter sleep aid Diphenhydramine HCI (25 mg) gets me to sleep faster and with less pain.  I buy Shop RIte's own brand, called Sleep-X.  Try taking just one first, although directions call for two.  Pretty soon I may opt for surgery because I feel I'm simply avoiding it and possibly harming myself meanwhile.
Avatar universal
I have Calcific Tendonitis in my shoulder.

I have the reactive type
Xray 2006 and Xray Feb 2009 confirms
This is a pic if anyone is interested . CT shown with red arrow
Avatar universal
I think the above link wont work so try this one

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