Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Shoulder FAQ


What is calcific tendinitis? My mother had an X-ray and this is what they found that's causing her shoulder pain.


Calcific tendinitis or bone spurs occur when calcium deposits around the shoulder cause pain. The deposits occur most often in the supraspinatus tendon that goes across the top of the shoulder. The pain is unrelated to shoulder position or activity. Adults between the ages of 30 and 50 are affected most often. It's not clear what causes this problem. Scientists aren't sure if it's an inflammatory response or caused by tendon injury. Many people have calcific tendinitis without any symptoms. Others have severe pain made worse by even the slightest shoulder movement. The size of the deposit doesn't seem to predict the amount of pain. 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.

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