Objective: To study the clinical and radiological response of chronic calcific tendinitis of the shoulder to extracorporeal shock wave treatment (ESWT).
Methods: The study included 3 female patients, 42, 48, and 50 years of age, all with calcified tendinitis of the rotator cuff. All had severe shoulder pain and limitation of motion. ESWT was done in one session with an extracorporeal shock wave lithotripter.
Results: After 24 hours, a fragmentation of calcification was achieved, and the patients had no pain and had entirely regained their joint movement. After 2 years of followup they were clinically and radiologically asymptomatic, and there were no adverse effects or other complications.
Conclusion: With its good tolerance, safety, and clinical and radiologic response, ESWT should be considered as an alternative therapy in the treatment of chronic calcific tendinitis of the shoulder refractory to other therapies.