Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Shoulder FAQ

Question:

I've heard you can have shock therapy for calcium deposits in the shoulder. How does this work?

Answer:

Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) has been used to treat calcific tendinitis of the shoulder. Shock waves are sound waves that create high-pressure energy. The energy is enough to shake the calcium deposit into tiny fragments that the body can absorb. According to a recent study from Austria, ESWT works best when the sound waves are focused directly at the calcium deposits. This requires using a special X-ray imaging called fluoroscopy. A computer program helps calculate the best angle and distance to get the best results. Manuel Sabeti-Aschraf, MD, et al. Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy in the Treatment of Calcific Tendinitis of the Rotator Cuff. In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. September 2005. Vol. 33. No. 9. Pp. 1365-1368.

*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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