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Arch Orthop Trauma Surg. 2001;121(1-2):56-9.

Surgical or conservative treatment for chronic rotator cuff calcifying tendinitis--a matched-pair analysis of 100 patients.

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Orthopädische Universitätsklinik der Ruhr-Universität Bochum, St Josef Hospital, Germany.


Conservative or operative treatment for rotator cuff calcifying tendinitis was investigated in 100 patients in a matched-pair analysis. They were examined clinically and ultrasonographically 35-60 months after the initial visit. The mean Patte score was 91.8 for the patients who underwent surgical treatment and 81 for the ones who received conservative therapy (p < 0.004), while the age-related Constant-score was 103.4 and 95, respectively. Ultrasonography showed 28% calcifications in the surgical group, 18% newly formed and 10% that did not resolve after surgery. In the conservatively treated group, 33% calcifications were seen, of which 67% resolved. The number of rotator cuff ruptures was significantly higher in the conservative group. In the surgical group, 2% of partial tears and in the conservative group 5% of partial and 4% of complete cuff ruptures were found. Conservative treatment for calcifying tendinitis leads to less favourable pain results in the long term than surgical treatment. Surgery shortens the painful period and may reduce the number of future rotator cuff ruptures. Finally, the subjective functional outcome is significantly better after surgery.

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