In this study, we assessed the functional results after arthroscopic excision of rotator cuff calcifications. Sixty-one shoulders in 57 patients with chronic calcifying tendinitis of the rotator cuff were treated with arthroscopic excision, subacromial bursa debridement and shaving. In patients with fraying or roughness of the coracoacromial ligament, an acromioplasty was also performed. Patients were evaluated after a mean follow-up of 15 months. The modified Constant score and DASH score significantly improved from 33.4 to 66.8 and from 49.7 to 17.3 respectively. Performing an acromioplasty did not influence the final outcome. Frozen shoulder was a frequent complication (18%) without significant effect on the final DASH or Constant score. The presence of residual calcifications after arthroscopic needling did not influence the final outcome. We therefore believe that the presence of residual calcifications can be accepted if this is deemed necessary to preserve the integrity of the tendon.