Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Shoulder FAQ

Question:

After two months of shoulder pain, I finally went to see the doctor. An X-ray showed calcific tendinitis. I'm seeing a physical therapist now and it's helping. Will this problem go away for good? Or should I expect another attack at any time?

Answer:

Shoulder pain and loss of motion are common symptoms of calcific tendinitis. Patients can be very debilitated in their daily activities from this problem. Typically there are no symptoms until the condition is on the mend.

If you can wait long enough, the problem will resolve on its own. That's why it's considered a self-limiting condition. Physical therapy for joint mobilization has been shown to give patients good results. Shock wave therapy is another treatment option that is safe and effective.

If the symptoms don't go away, surgery can be done to remove the calcium deposits and wash any other tiny crystals from the joint. The problem can come back but it is not a certainty. Many patients are never bothered again. Glenn Ross, MD, et al. Acute Calcific Tendinitis of the Shoulder Mimicking Infection: Arthroscopic Evaluation and Treatment -- A Case Report. In The American Journal of Orthopedics. December 2006. Vol. 35. No. 12. Pp. 572-574.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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