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Barbotage is a type of ultrasound guided injection that can be used in the management of calcific tendinosis, usually in the shoulder. A needle is inserted into the tendon and the area of calcium is broken down and aspirated. The tendon is purposefully probed several times to encourage healing in the area and steroid can also be injected around the tendon to help settle pain levels.

Here’s an overview of barbotage:

  1. Purpose: Barbotage is a technique used to treat conditions such as calcific tendinitis of the shoulder. Calcific tendinitis occurs when calcium deposits form within a tendon, commonly in the rotator cuff tendons of the shoulder. This can lead to pain and reduced range of motion.

  2. Procedure: During a barbotage procedure, a healthcare professional typically uses ultrasound or fluoroscopy guidance to accurately position a needle into the calcific deposit within the tendon. Once the needle is in place, fluid is injected into the area, creating a “barbotage” or “washing out” effect. The fluid is then aspirated or suctioned out, along with the dislodged calcium deposits.

  3. Fluid Injection and Aspiration: The injection of fluid helps to break up and disperse the calcific deposits, and the subsequent aspiration removes the fluid and debris from the area. This process aims to reduce pain and improve the function of the affected joint.

  4. Post-Procedure Care: After barbotage, patients may experience some soreness or discomfort, and it’s common for the area to be immobilized for a short period. The success of the procedure varies among individuals, and multiple sessions may be needed in some cases.


It’s important to note that while barbotage can be effective for certain conditions, the decision to undergo this procedure is typically based on the individual’s specific medical situation, the severity of symptoms, and the response to conservative treatments. As with any medical procedure, potential risks and benefits should be discussed thoroughly between the patient and their healthcare provider.

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