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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Minimally Invasive Treatment Relieves Rotator Cuff Pain

A minimally invasive procedure to treat tendonitis in the rotator cuff of the shoulder provides immediate symptom relief to the patient, according to a study published in the July issue of Radiology. The study found that ultrasound-guided nonsurgical therapy significantly reduces pain from calcific tendonitis of the rotator cuff and restores lasting mobility after treatment.

"With this treatment, we were able to establish a single inexpensive and effective treatment for calcific tendonitis of the rotator cuff. This has never happened before," said co-author Luca M. Sconfienza, M.D., from the Unit of Radiology, IRCCS Policlinico San Donato, University of Milan School of Medicine in Milan, Italy. "Symptoms improved in patients treated with our procedure compared to non-treated patients."

Calcific tendonitis is a condition that causes the formation of small calcium deposits within the tendons of the rotator cuff in the shoulder. It is most common in adults in their 40s. In most cases, the deposits become painful and can restrict mobility of the shoulder. In minor cases, physical therapy or anti-inflammatory medications may be sufficient to address the problem until the calcifications break apart spontaneously. In severe cases, patients may require shockwave treatment or open surgery to remove the calcium. Open surgery requires a hospital stay and rehabilitation and, on rare occasions, may result in major complications, such as tendon rupture.


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