Arthroscopic Calcium Excision/Decompression From The Rotator Cuff

  • A painful shoulder can often be associated with a build-up of calcium in the tendons which control lifting and rotation (the rotator cuff)
  • This is called calcific tendinitis
  • The cause is not always clear, but often there may have been an injury in the past
  • The calcium deposit can grow large enough to be seen on an X-ray
  • The tissue around the calcium may be inflamed and cause pain and impingement (painful friction when moving the arm)
  • Surgery to remove the calcium may be necessary if other treatments have failed
  • The operation is done arthroscopically (“keyhole” or minimally invasive surgery)
  • This is associated with a faster recovery time and minimal scarring
  • The procedure is done as a day case procedure (no overnight stay in hospital) under general anaesthetic
  • The calcium is removed under direct vision and removal is checked with a portable X-ray unite in the operating theatre
  • An arm sling is worn for comfort afterwards, and return to work is usually possible quite soon after the surgery
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