Tendonitis, bursitis and small rotator cuff tears in the shoulder can be treated effectively with an injection of a corticosteroid medicine followed by physical therapy exercises to restore shoulder movement and strengthen the rotator cuff muscles. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin and others) are useful to decrease pain and inflammation.
If your doctor determines that you have calcific tendonitis (calcium deposits), other treatments may be helpful. There is some evidence that treatment of the shoulder with ultrasound or a procedure called lithotripsy, which uses powerful ultrasound waves known as shock waves, may help to break up calcium deposits and speed healing.
Surgery may be necessary for frequently recurring rotator cuff injuries or large tears in a rotator cuff tendon. Either arthroscopy (camera-assisted surgery) or traditional open surgery can be used.
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