Health Library

Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Calcific tendinitis

Calcific tendinitis (also called calcific tendinopathy) occurs when calcium builds up in the tendons. Tissue tears and natural tissue breakdown (degenerative changes) increase the chance of these deposits.

Calcific tendinitis is most common in the shoulders. But it may occur in the elbows, wrists, hands, hips, knees, or feet. Symptoms may include:

  • Pain and stiffness that often recur but usually last only 1 to 2 weeks.
  • Occasional locking of the joint or limited movement.
  • Pain that is often worse at night and may interfere with sleep.

Treatment includes rest, ice, medicines to reduce pain and swelling, gentle range-of-motion exercises, and sometimes corticosteroid injections. If the calcium deposits are large, affect movement, or are persistently painful, they can be removed surgically (debridement).