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Calcific tendonitis

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I am suffering from what my dr. thinks is calcific tendonitis. I have had one cortisone

injection in the right shoulder. Helped for a few days. My left shoulder is also in pain -

only not as severe as right one. Two weeks after injection (and two months since initial

pain), my right shoulder is not much better. I have an MRI scheduled for the last of

Sept. I have to wait due to the injection.

Anyone have any advise for the severe pain? Or has anyone been diagnosed with


Many thanks.

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Sorry about your pain and what you have been going through. Sometimes Doctors won't offer other meds unless you ask. I don't know why. Have you tried calling him/her or the office and asking the doctor if there was something you could take for the pain. Pain is not normal and there are some things that could at least take the edge off. Don't be afraid to ask. I have not heard of anyone having to wait until after a test which is a month away for some kind of relief.


I hope you find something that will help.



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I called and got pain meds the week before my appt. I stopped taking them prior to the appt.

as I didn't want to mask the symptoms. We had hoped that the cortisone injection wouldn't helped.

I'm calling in the morning to get some more pain meds.


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Hi KarenKaye,


I had pretty bad tendonitis in the left shoulder and "some" in the right one. The cortisone injection didn't help, but some intensive physio did. They started with moist heat and massage and used some kind of machine on the shoulder, then strapped it with Kinesio tape which I had to leave on for 3 days. After a couple of weeks of that 2 x weekly, they introduced exercise. That went from something pretty mild to a whole set of exercises building up strength and freeing up the shoulder. I've got pretty good range of motion now and not much pain at all, as long as I keep doing the exercises.


Hope you get some relief soon!



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My doctors, bless 'em, have been very good about prescribing pain relievers and potent anti-inflammatories when I need them. They say that things get better faster if you aren't in constant pain and "life is too short to be miserable." I think being willing to do the PT contributes to their willingness to work with you.


I hope your MRI pinpoints the problem for you and you get some real relief soon.


Warm hugs,



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Hi Karenkaye ~


Nice to meet you. I am sorry you are having such pain with your shoulders. Mine are stiff and it's hard to raise my arms above my head at times but nothing compared to what you must be going through - ouch! :(


What have you tried so far for your pain? I'm no doctor but I was going to suggest the same as JJ -moist heat and anti-inflam. pain reliever. I'm sure you have probably tried it all so far.


Let us know how it goes.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Karen,


How are your shoulders now? Did you hear back results yet? For the last couple of weeks mine have seemed like they wouldn't move passed a certain point, anything I'm doing with my arms extended, shulders feel stiff... always something! Anyway, I hope the MRI gives your doctor a clear pic of how to alleviate your symptoms!

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  • 3 years later...



I am trying to find out info on calcific tendonitis. Four weeks ago my doctor prescribed Plaquenil to help relieve issues with my sclero.


After a week of the medication, my right shoulder started to hurt terribly, and I went numb from the right side of my face down through my right arm. I went to see my primary care physician to find out if it was a side affect from the plaquenil. He didn't have an answer for me and sent me to a bone and joint doctor. After an x-ray he said I had calcific tendonitis and gave me a cortisone injection. He also gave me pain killers. I'm at day 3 and the pain is so much worse than it was originally.


So my questions are, do cortisone injections work, and if so how long does it take?


Is calcific tendonitis common in sclero patients?


And finally, has anyone had a similar experience using Plaquenil?


I would really appreciate any info anyone can share, and thank you all in advance.

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Hi Imagine,


I'm sorry you have calcific tendonitis and are in a lot of pain right now. I will try to answer your questions but please remember that I am not a doctor and have no medical training at all.


As it happens, I have/had the same condition for almost 20 years. It goes by a variety of names, such as calcific tendonitis, calcium deposits, bone spurs, calcification, calcinosis, and various kinds of tendonitis such as supraspinitus tendonitis.


As I understand it, scleroderma is perhaps the most common cause of this but it can also be caused by other things, such as too much Vitamin D, and other severe forms of arthritis such as lupus and dermatomyositis. See our main site for Calcinosis, Hand and Joint Involvement in Systemic Sclerosis, and for Skeletal Involvement. Tendonitis is just one of a myriad of symptoms that can help lead to a diagnosis of scleroderma.


See the PDF file for our What in the World is Scleroderma brochure, which has a list of most typical systemic scleroderma symptoms, which includes tendonitis.


Here is a good article for Calcific Tendonitis Treatment by About.com.


Now to answer your questions. Cortisone injections usually start working within 3 days. The first time I had cortisone injections for supraspinitus tendonitis caused by bone spurs, they missed the spot and it provided no relief to me at all. In fact I think I felt even worse because I thought it should be feeling better, if that makes any sense at all. Yes, I bet you do understand that completely.


I waited awhile longer, just to be certain it wasn't working, and I went to a physiotherapist who was able to more accurately pinpoint the spot with imaging (and who it seemed to me had a lot more experience with the shots given that the first doctor at the very major medical center appeared to just pick a spot to inject out of thin air). Happily, that worked well enough that I was then able to start physical therapy for the tendonitis.


That didn't work and they wanted to do surgery, but I had an overabundance of other symptoms to deal with, which to me were more pressing. After about 18 months it settled down a little bit or at least enough to hobble along with.


Last year the bone spur managed to slice right through one of the tendons. Then I finally had rotator cuff surgery, and the surgeon spent extra time carving off the bone spurs and polishing the arthritis off.


Now it works like an absolute charm -- I can even play horseshoes now, and go bowling (with the very lightest ball, and being quite careful due to other symptoms) which are things I couldn't have even dreamed of doing for decades!


I was on Plaquenil for years but I had not been on Plaquenil before this began.


I may be wrong (I often am!) but I do not see calcium deposits being listed as a side effect of Plaquenil. You can check that out by studying sites like Plaquenil by Drugs.com and also by asking your pharmacist about it.


Please let your doctor know right away that the shot didn't help. You may need to have it again, plus you are in a brief window of time when other, less invasive, treatments are available that might cut the problem off at the pass.


These days, there isn't much if any sense in postponing relief for a few decades; but back then, treatment options were more limited and surgery was more difficult, as well.


Please keep us posted on how things go, and what you find out along the way. Meantime I am going to give you an extremely gentle warm hug in hopes you feel better soon.



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Hello Imagine2


Sorry you have calcific tendonitis, I don't have this so can't comment specifically. I do have issues with pain though and can comment there, well sympathise really. It's no fun being in pain especially when we pin our hopes on something to give us relief and then it doesn't, I agree with Shelley this actually makes you feel worse than you did to start with!


Take care and keep us posted.

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Thank you so much for all the info. I realize you are not a doctor, but I also know that the wonderful people on this site, give more good information than any of my doctors can.


I believe the only way to find any answers is through people who have experienced the same issues with the disease. I have even been told by a doctor that sclero doesn't cause pain. Honestly I was begining to think it really was all in my head. I have a good tolerance for pain, so when it is keeping me up at night and in tears, I'm thinking its not all in my head anymore.


Needless to say, it becomes frustrating when they can't tell me what is going on. Thank you so much for your compassion and quick response. I will keep you up to date with this, hopefully the injection will work. I dont know that I could take the pain it caused again. I will keep you all in my thoughts. Thank you so very much..

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