Ultrasound guided aspiration of symptomatic supraspinatus calcific deposits
11 consecutive patients with shoulder pain were referred from the shoulder clinic for plain radiography. Supraspinatus calcific deposits were suspected after other causes of shoulder pain had been eliminated by clinical examination and local anaesthetic tests. Radiographs confirmed calcific deposits in all 11 shoulders and all deposits were shown by ultrasound to be lying in the supraspinatus tendon. Using a free-hand ultrasound guidance technique, a 19 G needle was passed percutaneously into all 11 shoulders in an attempt to aspirate the deposit. Six patients experienced immediate pain relief or relief on the same day, whilst four others were pain free at the 2 weeks follow-up clinic. One patient who was though to have a co-existing supraspinatus tear diagnosed by the scan was symptomatically unchanged.