Calcific Tendonitis Surgery

There are two primary surgical options for treating calcific tendonitis:

1. Arthroscopic Surgery: This is a minimally invasive procedure. The surgeon makes small incisions around the shoulder joint and uses a small camera (arthroscope) to visualise the area. Specialised tools are used to remove the calcium deposits from the tendon. The advantage of this method is that it usually results in less pain post-operatively and a quicker recovery time.

2. Open Surgery: In some cases, a traditional open surgical procedure may be necessary. This involves a larger incision to directly access and remove the calcium deposits. While the recovery time is typically longer than with arthroscopic surgery, this approach may be necessary if the calcium deposits are extensive or difficult to access.

Expected Surgery Outcome

The goal of both surgical options is to alleviate pain and restore full function to the shoulder. Patients typically experience significant relief of symptoms after surgery. However, the exact outcome can vary depending on the patient’s overall health, the extent of the calcium deposits, and the quality of postoperative rehabilitation.

Potential surgery complications and risks

Complications are relatively rare but can include infection, excessive bleeding, and damage to nearby nerves or blood vessels. Some patients may also experience stiffness or loss of range of motion in the shoulder.

Risks

  • Infection: As with any surgical procedure, there is a risk of infection. However, precautions are taken to minimise this risk.
  • Nerve or Blood Vessel Damage: There is a risk of injuring nearby nerves or blood vessels during the surgery.
  • Stiffness: Post-surgical stiffness can occur, affecting the range of motion in the shoulder.
  • Incomplete Relief or Recurrence of Symptoms: Surgery may not entirely relieve symptoms. In some cases, symptoms can return if the initial cause of the calcification isn’t addressed.

Recovery after surgery

Recovery time varies, but patients usually begin physiotherapy within a few days after surgery. Therapy begins with gentle, passive exercises to maintain shoulder mobility. As healing progresses, active exercises and strength training are gradually introduced. Full recovery can take several months, with some patients requiring a year or more of rehabilitation. Adhering strictly to the prescribed rehab protocol is crucial for optimal recovery and long-term shoulder health.