The Prevalence of Calcifications at the Origin of the Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis Increases with Age

Document Type : RESEARCH PAPER


1 Hand Service, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Massachusetts, Boston, USA

2 Stein J. Janssen, Hand Service, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Massachusetts, Boston, USA

3 Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care, Dell Medical School, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, USA


Background: Enthesopathy of the extensor carpi radialis brevis origin [eECRB] is a common idiopathic, noninflammatory
disease of middle age that is characterized by excess glycosaminoglycan production and frequently
associated with radiographic calcification of its origin. The purpose of our study was to assess the relationship of
calcification of the ECRB and advancing age.
Methods: We included 28,563 patients who received an elbow radiograph and assessed the relationship of calcifications
of the ECRB identified on radiograph reports with patient age, sex, race, affected side, and ordering indication using
multivariable logistic regression.
Results: Calcifications of the ECRB were independently associated with age (OR:1.04; p <0.001); radiographs
ordered for atraumatic pain (OR2.6; p <0.001) or lateral epicondylitis (OR5.5; p <0.001); and Hispanic ethnicity (OR1.5;
p <0.001) and less likely to be found at the left side (OR0.68; p <0.001). Similarly, incidental calcifications of the ECRB,
those on radiographs not ordered for atraumatic pain or lateral epicondylitis, were independently associated with
age (OR1.03; p <0.001) and Hispanic ethnicity (OR1.5; p <0.024) and less likely to be found on the left side (OR0.71;
p <0.001).
Conclusion: We observed that about nine percent of people have ECRB calcification by the time they are in their sixth
decade of life and calcifications persist in the absence of symptoms which supports the idea that eECRB is a common,
self-limited diagnosis of middle age.
Level of evidence: II


Main Subjects

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