Calcific tendinitis (also called calcific tendinopathy) occurs when
calcium builds up in the tendons. Tissue tears and natural tissue breakdown
(degenerative changes) increase the chance of these deposits.
Calcific tendinitis is most common in the shoulders. But it may
occur in the elbows, wrists, hands, hips, knees, or feet. Symptoms may
Pain and stiffness that often recur but usually
last only 1 to 2 weeks.
Occasional locking of the joint or limited
Pain that is often worse at night and may interfere with
Treatment includes rest, ice, medicines to reduce pain and
swelling, gentle range-of-motion exercises, and sometimes corticosteroid
injections. If the calcium deposits are large, affect movement, or are
persistently painful, they can be removed surgically (debridement).
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Kenneth J. Koval, MD - Orthopedic Surgery, Orthopedic Trauma
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