Editorial Commentary: Is Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Shoulder Ever Appropriate in Evaluating Patients With Calcific Tendinopathy of the Rotator Cuff?

Arthroscopy. 2020 Apr;36(4):991-992. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2020.01.014.


Calcific tendinopathy of the rotator cuff is a common pathology that often presents with clinical symptoms simulating a rotator cuff tear. The reported incidence of rotator cuff tear in the setting of calcific tendinopathy varies widely; however, the reported incidence of full-thickness rotator cuff tear on imaging in calcific tendinopathy is consistently low (<5%). In patients with symptomatic calcific tendinopathy, initial conservative management followed by minimally invasive treatments should be employed prior to performing shoulder magnetic resonance imaging to assess for a rotator cuff tear. A shoulder magnetic resonance imaging may be performed for preoperative planning prior to surgical removal of calcium deposits, but even in this patient population, the incidence of full-thickness rotator cuff tear is low.

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Calcinosis*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Rotator Cuff
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries*
  • Shoulder
  • Tendinopathy*