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Extracorporeal shock wave therapy for chronic calcific tendinitis of the shoulder: single blind study
  1. R Cosentino,
  2. R De Stefano,
  3. E Selvi,
  4. E Frati,
  5. S Manca,
  6. B Frediani,
  7. R Marcolongo
  1. Institute of Rheumatology, University of Siena, Italy
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr R Cosentino, Institute of Rheumatology, Policlinico Le Scotte, Viale bracci, 53100 Siena, Italy;


Objective: To evaluate the clinical and radiological response of chronic calcific tendinitis of the shoulder to extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) in a single blind study.

Methods: 70 patients showing chronic, symptomatic, calcifying tendinitis of the shoulder were examined. A single blind randomised study was performed with 35 patients undergoing a regular treatment (group 1) and 35 a simulated one (group 2). Pain and functional assessment was carried out according to Constant and Murley. Variations in the dimension of the calcification were evaluated by anteroposterior x ray films.

Results: A significant decrease of pain and a significant increase in shoulder function was seen in group 1. Examination by x ray showed partial resorption of the calcium deposits in 40% of cases and complete resorption in 31% of cases in group 1. In the control group no significant decrease of pain and no significant increase in shoulder function was seen. No modifications were observed by x ray examination.

Conclusion: Because of its good tolerance, safety, and clinical radiological response, ESWT can be considered as an alternative treatment for chronic calcific tendinitis of the shoulder.

  • shock wave therapy
  • tendinitis
  • shoulder

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