Calcific tendonitis of the shoulder is a condition characterized by the accumulation of calcium deposits in the tendons of the rotator cuff. This often painful condition can significantly impact mobility and quality of life.

Calcific Tendonitis ShoulderPatients seeking care for calcific tendonitis benefit from Dr. Michael Bercik’s extensive training and experience. After graduating Magna Cum Laude from Georgetown University and earning his medical degree with honors from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Dr. Bercik’s prestigious background includes a residency at the Rothman Institute and two international fellowships in shoulder and elbow conditions. His comprehensive training and patient-focused approach equip Dr. Bercik to provide top-tier care, encompassing precise diagnosis, cutting-edge surgical methods, and tailored rehabilitation plans.

What is Calcific Tendonitis?

Calcific tendonitis is a condition marked by the accumulation of calcium deposits within the tendons of the shoulder joint. These deposits can lead to significant inflammation and discomfort in the affected area. Although the precise reasons behind the formation of these calcium deposits remain somewhat elusive, several factors are believed to contribute. Aging is a primary factor, as the condition predominantly arises in adults, particularly women between 30 and 60. Repetitive strain on the shoulder tendons, often seen in certain occupations or sports, is another contributing factor. A reduced blood supply to the tendons, which may occur with advancing age or specific medical conditions, can also lead to calcific tendonitis.

Symptoms of this condition are often quite pronounced and include:

  • Sharp and Acute Pain: The primary symptom is intense, sharp pain in the shoulder, which can progress to chronic pain if not addressed.
  • Worsening Pain with Movement: Pain often intensifies during shoulder movements, hindering the ability to perform everyday tasks comfortably.
  • Shoulder Stiffness: Stiffness in the shoulder joint accompanies the pain, leading to reduced mobility.
  • Decreased Range of Motion: The condition often results in a noticeable decline in the shoulder’s range of motion and overall functionality.
  • Calcific Attacks: Some individuals may experience sudden, severe bouts of pain, known as “calcific attacks,” which can occur unexpectedly and be quite incapacitating.

These symptoms can severely limit an individual’s ability to carry out even simple, routine tasks, significantly diminishing their quality of life.

Treatment Strategies

Diagnosis typically involves a physical examination and imaging tests. Dr. Bercik emphasizes the importance of a thorough evaluation, which may include X-rays to visualize calcium deposits and MRI scans to assess the extent of tendon inflammation.

The conservative treatment of calcific shoulder tendonitis primarily focuses on alleviating pain and reducing inflammation while aiming to restore mobility and strength in the shoulder. This approach typically involves the use of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) to manage pain and swelling. Physical therapy plays a crucial role, where tailored exercises are prescribed to enhance the range of motion, strengthen shoulder muscles, and promote healing.

When conservative treatments are unsuccessful, surgery may be required. This is particularly the case for larger deposits or those causing significant pain. Dr. Bercik employs minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques to remove calcium deposits and repair any damage to the tendons. The benefit of arthroscopic surgery is a faster recovery time, minimal scarring, and a quicker return to normal activities.

Let’s Work Together

Calcific tendonitis of the shoulder, while a painful and debilitating condition, can be effectively managed under the expert care of an experienced orthopedic specialist like Dr. Michael Bercik. Combining state-of-the-art treatment options with compassionate, patient-focused care, Dr. Bercik ensures his patients achieve pain relief and regain full function and quality of life.

To schedule an appointment, please complete a request form or call 717.560.4200.