Clinical Rheumatology

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 269–274

Chronic calcifying tendinitis of the shoulder-therapy by percutaneous needle aspiration and lavage: A prospective open study of 62 shoulders

  • J. Pfister
  • H. Gerber

DOI: 10.1007/BF02238962

Cite this article as:
Pfister, J. & Gerber, H. Clin Rheumatol (1997) 16: 269. doi:10.1007/BF02238962


In an open study the therapeutic value of percutaneous needle aspiration and lavage performed in local anaesthesia under image intensifier control in patients with chronic calcifying shoulder tendinitis was investigated. 60 patients (62 shoulders) were included in the study. The average age was 48 years, and the median duration of shoulder pain and calcification was 24 months and 7 months respectively. The right shoulder was affected in 34 and the left in 24 patients; two patients had painful calcifications in both shoulders. In 47% X-ray showed calcium deposits in the contralateral shoulder. 77% of the painful deposits projected on the supraspinatus tendon and in most cases image intensifier examination showed multiple calcifications. Calcareous material could be removed by needle aspiration and lavage in 76% of all cases. There was no correlation regarding the preferred working hand and the side of calcifying tendinitis. X-ray controls performed after 2 months revealed a significant reduction of the size of calcifications. The clinical follow-up 2 and 6 months after needling showed a significant reduction of global pain intensity. There were also significant improvements in the areas of pain on movement, pain at night and impairment of sleep. Clinical success was independent of the radiological aspect of the calcifications.

Key words

TendinitisPeriarthritisRotator CuffShoulder JointNeedlesCalcinosisFollow-up Studies

Copyright information

© Clinical Rheumatology 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Pfister
    • 1
  • H. Gerber
    • 1
  1. 1.From the Klinik für Rheumatologie une RehabilitationZürichSwitzerland