Mr Simon Lambert BSc FRCS FRCSEdOrth

Consultant Orthopaedic Shoulder & Elbow Surgeon

Excision/needling of calcific mass

Sometimes the damaged area of a tendon undergoing degeneration becomes filled with calcium salts which deposit from the blood stream. The presence of calcium in the tendons does not necessarily mean that there is too much calcium in the blood stream. The areas of calcification can be aspirated using a needle under ultrasound scan (USS) and with local anaesthetic in the shoulder, or broken up by needling them under USS control: the body absorbs the free calcium. The calcium can come back. The effect of the treatment is to create inflammation (which helps to absorb the calcium), which is moderated by using a mild steroid injection at the same time.

Again, physiotherapy to strengthen the shoulder is very important after the calcium has been dispersed.