Arthroscopic treatment of calcific tendinitis without rotator cuff repair using prospectively collected results


calcific tendinitis, rotator cuff, arthroscopy, shoulder

Published online: Aug 11 2023


1 Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, UZ Ghent, Ghent, Belgium
2 Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Sint-Jozefskliniek, Izegem, Belgium


The treatment of calcific tendinitis can be either non-operative, which should always be the first step of treatment, or operative. In chronic calcifying tendinitis with insufficient conservative treatment, an arthroscopic excision of the calcification deposit may help, however, there is controversy about how it should be performed. This retrospective study, with prospectively collected results using the Surgical Outcome System™ (SOS, Arthrex®), evaluated the outcome of arthroscopic treatment of calcific tendinitis without rotator cuff repair. Outcome was measured by different scores such as Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons Evaluation Form (ASES) and Single Assess- ment Numeric Scale (SANE). 54 patients were included in the analysis (male: 19; female: 35), mean age at surgery was 51 (range, 37-68) years. All scores improved compared with final follow-up. VAS score improved from 5,3 ± 2,2 to 0,9 ± 1,3 (p<0,001). ASES score improved from 53,0 ± 17,0 to 92,2 ± 11,1 (p<0,001) and SANE score from 47,2 ± 17,8 to 92,1 ± 10,6 (p<0,001). Most improvement is seen in the first 3 months postoperatively but gradual progress is to be expected up until 2 years. No frozen shoulders or cuff tears were reported postoperatively. No reoperations were necessary during follow-up. A noticeable fast pain relief and functional recovery are seen when treating a patient with calcific tendinitis without repairing the rotator cuff. There were no patients with frozen shoulder postoperatively.