Rotator cuff pain? There is an option for immediate relief without surgery

Those suffering from calcific tendinosis – a build-up of calcium deposits that creates a nodule, most commonly in the rotator cuff – have a minimally-invasive treatment option for immediate pain relief that can replace surgery.

Symptoms of calcific tendinosis include sudden shoulder pain or stiffness, intense pain with shoulder movement, reduced range of motion and tenderness. Calcific tendinosis also can occur elsewhere in the body, including the hip.

For this condition, a radiologist can perform barbotage, a treatment to remove the nodule. Using ultrasound guidance, a needle is placed in the center of the nodule to dissolve and remove the calcium deposits from the tendon, said Sandra J. Allison, M.D., FACR, an expert in diagnostic and therapeutic ultrasound at Washington Radiology. This is followed by a steroid injection to treat residual inflammation caused by the mobilization of the calcium.

“The pain often dissipates quickly,” Dr. Allison said. “Many patients who come in with calcific tendinosis can’t lift their arm, but most often when they leave, they can lift their arm again. The procedure takes 15 minutes.”

Patients who come to Washington Radiology for treatment of calcific tendinosis can expect the highest level of patient care from renowned experts in musculoskeletal interventional treatments. Dr. Allison has developed one of the most robust diagnostic and therapeutic musculoskeletal ultrasound programs in the D.C. metro area and has trained her technologists, Camio Cadwell and Chelsea Trujillo, to earn certifications as registered musculoskeletal sonographers.

Speak with your health care provider if you experience sudden or intense shoulder pain, stiffness of your shoulder joint or discomfort that interrupts sleep. A physician order is needed to schedule an interventional musculoskeletal exam. To schedule your appointment, please call 571-388-2759 and have your physician order ready.

Click here for more information about barbotage for calcific tendinosis.

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