Ultrasound-guided percutaneous treatment of calcific tendinopathy

What is it?

Ultrasound-guided percutaneous treatment of calcific tendinopathy consists of "flushing" the calcification by means of one or two simple needles.

Technical difficulty:
Average duration of the intervention:
20 minutes
Average duration of hospitalization:
outpatient procedure, no hospitalization required

When is this procedure indicated?

The procedure is indicated in patients with a painful tendon calcification in the shoulder or in other tendons of the body, when the calcification is still intact and not fragmented.

How is it performed?

After injecting a small amount of local anesthetic around the shoulder, one or two syringe needles are introduced inside the tendon calcification. Through the use of sterile saline, the calcium is removed with successive and repeated washings. A simple injection of corticosteroids within the subacromial bursa completes the therapy. The whole procedure is performed under constant ultrasound monitoring, in order to obtain a proper guidance of the needles and prevent possible injuries of the structures involved. The procedure is not painful at all because it is performed under local anesthesia and lasts about 20 minutes.


After the procedure, the patient is advised to apply ice for a few hours and, in the following days, to perform a few cycles of physiotherapy. In addition, patients can continue to use the arm from the day after the execution of the therapy, without substantial limitations.

Short-term complications

Potential short-term complication is pain recurrence around two months, due to the occurrence of subacromial bursitis. In these cases, an ultrasound-guided injection of steroids helps to resolve the issue.

Long-term complications


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