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Calcifiant tendinitis of shoulder

1. The  rotator cuff is formed by 4 tendons, recovering the head of the humerus. They assure the rise and the rotation of the arm (sub-scapularis and long biceps, supra-spinatus and infra-spinatus). Finally they maintain the head in front of glenoid of the scapula.

The calcification is a deposit of calcic material in one or several tendons of the headgear of rotators. This deposit pulls an inflammation of the concerned tendon and the part its volume can hamper in the natural sliding of the rotator cuff between acromion and head humérale.

These calcifications are frequent in the population, but only certain persons present symptoms. It is essentially about pains favored by the movements of the arm or the slept position. They evolve by crises and are sometimes extremely.

2. The examination by the doctor allows to find the tendinous inflammation, but it is the radiography which by showing the calcification allows to make the diagnosis.

3. Treatments: several methods can be successively used:

  • painkiller and anti-inflammatory drug;
  • one even two infiltrations (injection in the shoulder of an anti-inflammatory product derived of the cortisone, under radioscopy);
  • shock waves (device put on the shoulder which delivers from "shocks" which would favor the fragmentation of the calcifications);
  • rehabilitation to fight against the pain and avoid the friction of the rotator cuff thickened by the calcification on the acromion;
  • in the absence of improvement, an DSR (introduction of a miniature camera through the skin) under loco-regional or general anesthesia, allows the ablation of the calcification without opening the shoulder. The hospitalization is ambulatory ( 1 day). A sling and analgesic are established a few days, then the patient can reuse the arm. The pain diseaper gradually in 2 in 3 months, deadline necessary for the tendinous healing.
calcif épaule radiorw X-ray of a calcification

Ablation by


calcif épaule
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