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June 28, 1952


Author Affiliations

99 Pratt St. Hartford 3, Conn.

JAMA. 1952;149(9):887. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.02930260089021

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To the Editor:—  Frequently in medical periodicals the term "calcific" or "calcified" bursitis is freely mentioned in reference to a painful shoulder with restricted motion in which calcium deposits are seen in the roentgenogram. Qualified radiologists and orthopedists are both guilty of this error. Since the disease arises primarily in degenerated tendon and does not originate in the subacromial bursa, any reference to the bursa must be that of secondary alteration. In daily practice the finding of calcific-like opacities about the humeral head will oftener than not lead to a diagnosis of "calcified subacromial or subdeltoid bursitis" on the radiologist's report. Although chalk may rupture into the bursa, its presence in the sac is uncommon. The appearance of free chalk in the bursa results when the calcified material lies in the supraspinatus tendon and only when the mass has ruptured through the degenerated tendon fibrils as well as through the

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