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Calcific Tendinitis

Calcific tendinitis (also called calcific tendinopathy) occurs when calcium builds up in the tendons. Tissue tears and natural tissue breakdown (degenerative changes) increase the chance of these deposits.

Calcific tendinitis is most common in the shoulders. But it may occur in the elbows, wrists, hands, hips, knees, or feet. Symptoms may include:

  • Pain and stiffness that often recur but usually last only 1 to 2 weeks.
  • Occasional locking of the joint or limited movement.
  • Pain that is often worse at night and may interfere with sleep.

Treatment includes rest, ice, medicines to reduce pain and swelling, gentle range-of-motion exercises, and sometimes corticosteroid injections. If the calcium deposits are large, affect movement, or are persistently painful, they can be removed surgically (debridement).

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Kenneth J. Koval, MD - Orthopedic Surgery, Orthopedic Trauma
Current as of October 16, 2012

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: October 16, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.