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Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy of Chronic Calcific Tendinitis of the Shoulder in Single-Blind Study

Authors: R. Cosentino, R. De Stefano, E. Frati, S. Manca, S. Manganelli, E. Selvi, M. Hammoud, R. Marcolongo
Institution: Institute of Rheumatology, Policlinico Le Scotte Viale Bracci

The aim of our study was to evaluate the clinical and radiological response of chronic calcific tendinitis of the shoulder to extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) in single-blind study.


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


A significant decrease of pain and a significant increase in shoulder function was observed in group 1. Examination by X-ray showed partial resorption of the calcium deposit 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 observed. No modification was observed by X-ray.

Because of its good tolerance, safety, and clinical radiologic response, ESWT should be considered as alternative therapy for chronic calcific tendinitis of the shoulder.

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