2017 Volume 84 Issue 1 Pages 19-24
Background: The purpose of this study was to evaluate clinical and radiological outcomes of arthroscopic treatment for refractory rotator cuff calcific tendinitis of the shoulder. Methods: Subjects were 37 patients (35 women and 2 men; mean age, 47.8 years; age range 34-61 years) who had undergone arthroscopic treatment for calcific tendinitis of the shoulder. Despite sufficient nonsurgical treatments, all patients had residual calcific deposit with persistent or recurrent pain. Before surgery, all patients underwent 3-directional radiographs of the shoulder and three-dimensional computed tomography to determine the location and size of calcific deposit. Arthroscopic surgery was performed with the patient under general anesthesia in the lateral decubitus position. A 2-cm single longitudinal incision was made with a radiofrequency hook blade on the tendon surface above calcific deposit. Calcific deposit was removed as much as possible with a curette and a motorized shaver. The incised tendon was repaired with a side-to-side suture with strong sutures. The Japanese Orthopaedic Association shoulder score was used to evaluate clinical outcomes. The extent of calcific deposit removal was evaluated with radiographs obtained before surgery, 1 week after the surgery and at the final follow-up examination. Results: The mean follow-up duration was 30.4 (range, 13-72) months. The mean shoulder score significantly improved from 69.7 (range, 58-80) points before surgery to 97.8 (range, 89-100) points at the final follow-up examination. Postoperative radiographs in all patients, showed that the calcific deposit was resolved or reduced and those from 1 week after surgery to the final examination showed no evidence of recurrence or enlargement of calcific deposit. The calcific deposit had completely resolved in 34 patients but remained in 3 patients. Conclusion: When treating calcific tendinitis of the shoulder, it is important to accurately determine the size and location of calcific deposit by radiographs and 3-dimensional computed tomography. Satisfactory clinical and radiological outcomes can be expected after reliable removal of calcific deposit through a single longitudinal incision and side-to-side repair with strong sutures, in association with an appropriate rehabilitation program.