Treatment of Calcifying Tendinitis of the Shoulder With Shock Wave Therapy

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In a prospective clinical study, the effectiveness of shock wave treatment for calcifying tendinitis in 31 shoulders in 29 patients (14 women and 15 men) with an average age of 52 years was assessed. Each shoulder was treated with 1000 impulses of shock waves at 14 kV. A 100-point Constant score system was used for evaluation. The overall results of 20 patients (21 shoulders) with 12 weeks followup were no complaints in 23.8%, significantly improved in 38.1%, some improvement in 14.3%, and unchanged in 23.8%. Considerable improvement was observed between 6 and 12 weeks. The results of seven patients with 24 weeks followup were no complaints in two patients, significantly improved in three, and unchanged in two patients. Radiographs showed complete elimination of the calcium deposits in six patients (28.6%), incomplete elimination in two patients (9.5%), and three patients (14.3%) had fragmentation of the calcium deposits. There was no recurrence of calcium deposits observed at 24 weeks. There was a correlation between the functional improvement and the elimination of calcium deposits. There were no device-related problems, systemic or local complications. Low-energy shock wave therapy may offer a new and safer additional nonoperative treatment for patients with calcifying tendinitis of the shoulder.

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