Introduction In this article, we present our operative technique for the removal of rotator cuff calcifications.
Indications & Contraindications
Step 1: Setup and Patient Positioning Perform the shoulder arthroscopy with the patient in the beach-chair position with a shoulder positioner.
Step 2: Glenohumeral Inspection Perform an arthroscopic inspection of the glenohumeral joint to exclude concomitant lesions.
Step 3: Subacromial Inspection and Identification of Subacromial Landmarks Ensure that subacromial placement of the arthroscope and identification of the subacromial landmarks are correct as they are necessary for localization of the rotator cuff calcification.
Step 4: Identification and Removal of Rotator Cuff Calcification With a spinal needle, localize and needle the rotator cuff calcification.
Results In our series, all patients undergoing arthroscopic calcification removal exhibited significant improvement in the Constant score (p = 0.003), Quick DASH (an abbreviated version of the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand [DASH] questionnaire) (p < 0.001), and Simple Shoulder Test (p < 0.001) at 1 year after the operation8.
Pitfalls & Challenges
In this article, we present our operative technique for the removal of rotator cuff calcifications.
Arthroscopic removal of rotator cuff calcifications, which are a frequent cause of shoulder pain and pathology1, is a highly reliable operation in terms of pain relief and return of function. Calcifications are classified on the basis of their radiographic appearance into different types2,3. Conservative treatment is the first option for the treatment for all types of calcifications4. However, for chronic, recalcitrant calcifications, arthroscopic removal has a predictably good clinical outcome5-7. Nevertheless, we have reported high rates of persistent postoperative rotator cuff defects on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans 1 year after arthroscopic removal of calcific deposits8. Whether to repair the tendon defect after …
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