Complications of calcific tendinitis of the shoulder: a concise review

J Orthop Traumatol. 2015 Sep;16(3):175-83. doi: 10.1007/s10195-015-0339-x. Epub 2015 Feb 20.


Calcific tendinitis (CT) of the rotator cuff (RC) muscles in the shoulder is a disorder which remains asymptomatic in a majority of patients. Once manifested, it can present in different ways which can have negative effects both socially and professionally for the patient. The treatment modalities can be either conservative or surgical. There is poor literature evidence on the complications of this condition with little consensus on the treatment of choice. In this review, the literature was extensively searched in order to study and compile together the complications of CT of the shoulder and present it in a clear form to ease the understanding for all the professionals involved in the management of this disorder. Essentially there are five major complications of CT: pain, adhesive capsulitis, RC tears, greater tuberosity osteolysis and ossifying tendinitis. All the above complications have been explained right from their origin to the control measures required for the relief of the patient.

Level of evidence: 5.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Calcinosis / complications*
  • Calcinosis / diagnosis*
  • Calcinosis / therapy
  • Humans
  • Rotator Cuff*
  • Shoulder Joint*
  • Tendinopathy / complications*
  • Tendinopathy / diagnosis*
  • Tendinopathy / therapy