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Clin Should Elbow. 2018 Jun;21(2):75-81. English. Original Article.
Lee TK , Shin SJ .
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Ewha Womans University Mokdong Hospital, Ewha Womans University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


We investigated the resolution of pain and functional recovery of shoulder after arthroscopic removal of calcific deposits in patients with chronic calcific tendinitis.


We enrolled 39 patients who were treated arthroscopically for chronic calcific tendinitis that had been non-responsive to at least 6 months of conservative treatment. We evaluated clinical outcome in terms of the American Shoulder Elbow Surgeons (ASES), the Constant score, the visual analogue score (VAS) for pain. We used plain radiography to measure the size of the calcific deposits. We also analyzed the clinical outcomes in terms of whether or not a cuff repair was performed or the degree of removal of calcific deposits.


We found that complete resolution of pain took on average 5.7 months after the arthroscopic treatment. The ASES and the Constant score significantly improved from the 3-month follow-up, however it took 6 months until the scores reached on average 80 points or above. We found that these clinical outcomes at the final follow-up did not significantly differ by whether or not cuff repair was performed. Similarly, we found that the clinical outcomes did not significantly differ by the degree of calcium removal.


We found that arthroscopic removal of calcification leads to improved clinical outcomes in patients with chronic calcific tendinitis. However, our findings show it takes at least 6 months for the clinical improvement to become statistically significant. We also found that concomitant cuff repairs or the degree of removal of calcification does not affect the clinical outcome of the arthroscopic treatment.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.