Clin Should Elbow.  2021 Mar;24(1):21-26. 10.5397/cise.2020.00010.

Calcific tendinitis of the shoulder in the Korean population: demographics and its relation with coexisting rotator cuff tear

  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Hallym University Dongtan Sacred Heart Hospital, Hwaseong, Korea
  • 2Global Center for Shoulder, Elbow and Sports at Neon Orthopaedic Clinic, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Department of Orthopaedics, Chonnam National University College of Medicine, Gwangju, Korea
  • 4Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong, Seoul, Korea
  • 5Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital, Anyang, Korea
  • 6Seoul Metropolitan Seonam Hospital, Seoul, Korea
  • 7Goodsam Orthopaedic Clinic, Cheonju, Korea
  • 8Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Keimyung University Dongsan Medical Center, Keimyung University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea
  • 9Department of Orthopaedics, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 10Department of Orthopaedics, Daegu Fatima Hospital, Daegu, Korea
  • 11Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Nowon Eulji Medical Center, Eulji University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


To evaluate the demographics, clinical and radiographic features of calcific tendinitis of the shoulder in the Korean population, specifically focusing on the incidence of coexisting rotator cuff tear.
Between October 2014 and January 2015, we performed a prospective multicenter study with 506 patients from 11 training hospitals in Korea. We collected data of demographics and radiographic analysis based on simple radiographs, clinical assessments based on visual analog scale (VAS) and the American Shoulder Elbow Surgeons (ASES) score, and treatment modalities that are used currently. We also evaluated coexisting rotator cuff tear by ultrasonography (US) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) images.
There were 402 female patients (79%) with mean age of 55 years (range, 31–87 years). Mean duration of symptoms was 16 months. Mean size of calcific materials was 11.4 mm (range, 0–35 mm). Mean value of VAS and ASES scores were 6.5 (range, 1–10) and 47 (range, 8–95), respectively. Of 383 patients (76%), 59 (15%) had rotator cuff tear including 15 full-thickness tears on US or MRI. Patients with rotator cuff tears were significantly associated with older age, recurrent symptoms, menstrual disorders in females, and having undergone calcification removal surgery and rotator cuff repair (all p<0.05).
This study reported demographic, radiographic, and clinical features of calcific tendinitis of the shoulder in Korean population, which were not different from those of Western population. Coexisting rotator cuff tear was found with 15% incidence in this large series, suggesting that further radiographic study to evaluate rotator cuff tear might be needed in some calcific tendinitis patients of older age and presenting with recurrent symptoms.


Calcific tendinitis; Epidemiologic; Rotator cuff tears
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