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Calcific tendinopathy of the shoulder: clinical perspectives into the mechanisms, pathogenesis, and treatment

Authors Sansone V, Maiorano E, Galluzzo A, Pascale V

Received 6 March 2018

Accepted for publication 31 May 2018

Published 3 October 2018 Volume 2018:10 Pages 63—72

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/ORR.S138225

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Clark Hung


Valerio Sansone,1,2 Emanuele Maiorano,1 Alessandro Galluzzo,1 Valerio Pascale1,2

1Department of Orthopaedics, University of Milan, 2Department of Orthopaedics, I.R.C.C.S. Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi, Milan, Italy

Abstract: Calcific tendinopathy (CT) of the shoulder is a common, painful condition characterized by the presence of calcium deposits in the rotator cuff tendons. Current theories indicate that CT may be the result of a cell-mediated process in which, after a stage of calcium deposition, calcifications are spontaneously resorbed. However, in a minority of cases, this self-healing process is somehow disrupted, resulting in symptoms. Recent literature shows an emerging role of biological and genetic factors underlying CT. This new evidence could supplement the classic mechanical theory of rotator cuff tendinopathy complicated by calcium precipitation, and it may also explain why the majority of the therapies currently in use are only able to provide partially satisfactory outcomes. This review aims to summarize the current knowledge about the pathological processes underlying CT of the shoulder and thereby justify the quest for advanced biological treatments of this condition when it becomes symptomatic.

Keywords: rotator cuff tendons, calcific tendinopathy, calcific deposits, shoulder, tendinitis, review

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