Calcific Tendinopathy of the Rotator Cuff: Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, and Management

J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 1997 Jul;5(4):183-191. doi: 10.5435/00124635-199707000-00001.


Calcific tendinopathy, or calcifying tendinitis, is a disease characterized by multifocal, cell-mediated calcification of living tissue. After spontaneous disappearance of the calcific deposits or, less frequently, surgical removal, the tendon reconstitutes itself. Attention to the clinical presentation and the radiologic, morphologic, and gross characteristics of the calcium deposit will facilitate differentiation between the formative phase and the resorptive phase, which is of paramount importance in the management of this disease. Should conservative treatment fail, surgical removal may be indicated during the formative phase, but only under exceptional circumstances during the resorptive phase. Aspiration and lavage of the deposit should be performed only during the latter phase.