Rotator cuff calcific tendinopathy: Randomized comparison of US-guided percutaneous treatments by using one or two needles

Davide Orlandi, Giovanni Mauri, Francesca Lacelli, Angelo Corazza, Carmelo Messina, Enzo Silvestri, Giovanni Serafini, Luca Maria Sconfienza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To determine whether the use of one or two needles influences procedure performance and patient outcomes for ultrasonography (US)-guided percutaneous irrigation of calcific tendinopathy. Materials and Methods: Institutional review board approval and written informed patient consent were obtained. From February 2012 to December 2014, 211 patients (77 men and 134 women; mean age, 41.6 years ± 11.6; range, 24-69 years) with painful calcific tendinopathy diagnosed at US were prospectively enrolled and randomized. Operators subjectively graded calcifications as hard, soft, or fluid according to their appearance at US. US-guided percutaneous irrigation of calcific tendinopathy (local anesthesia, needle lavage, intrabursal steroid injection) was performed in 100 patients by using the single-needle procedure and in 111 patients by using the double-needle procedure. Calcium dissolution was subjectively scored (easy = 1; intermediate = 2; difficult = 3). Procedure duration was recorded. Clinical evaluation was performed by using the Constant score up to 1 year after the procedure. The occurrence of postprocedural bursitis was recorded. Mann-Whitney U, x2, and analysis of variance statistics were used. Results: No difference in procedure duration was seen overall (P = .060). Procedure duration was shorter with the doubleneedle procedure in hard calcifications (P < .001) and with the single-needle procedure in fluid calcifications (P = .024). Ease of calcium dissolution was not different between single- and double-needle procedures, both overall and when considering calcification appearance (P > .089). No clinical differences were found (Constant scores for single-needle group: baseline, 55 ± 7; 1 month, 69 ± 7; 3 month, 90 ± 5; 1 year, 92 ± 4; double-needle group: 57 ± 6; 71 ± 9; 89 ± 7; 92 ± 4, respectively; P = .241). In the single-needle group, nine of 100 cases (9%) of postprocedural bursitis were seen, whereas four of 111 cases (3.6%) were seen in the double-needle group (P = .180). Conclusion: The only difference between using the single- or doubleneedle procedure when performing US-guided percutaneous irrigation of calcific tendinopathy is procedure duration in hard and fluid calcifications. Clinical outcomes are similar up to 1 year.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)518-527
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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