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Shoulder Health

  • Common Shoulder Conditions

    shoulder pain

    The shoulder provides the greatest range of motion in our body, allowing us to lift and rotate our arms in many directions. Injuries to the shoulder area are common, especially during sporting activities that require excessive and repetitive overhead motion. Most shoulder injuries develop gradually, and may lead to serious complications if not treated promptly.

    Shoulder injury in its early stages may present with subtle symptoms which could worsen over time. Learn more about the common symptoms and conditions that affect the shoulder, as well as the specialty treatments available at Mount Elizabeth Hospitals.

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    Frozen Shoulder

    frozen shoulder

    Frozen shoulder (also called adhesive capsulitis) is a condition that results in loss of movement, and pain or stiffness in your shoulder. The pain and loss of movement can affect your daily activities. Frozen shoulder can occur with no obvious cause. However, at times, inflammation causes parts of the capsule in the shoulder joint to become thickened and scarred. This reduces the volume of the shoulder joint, limiting the shoulder's ability to move and causing the shoulder to freeze.

    There are several risk factors for frozen shoulder, which include increasing age, endocrine disorders (diabetes, cardiac disease, thyroid problems, Parkinson’s disease), having undergone surgery and prolonged immobilisation of the shoulder after injury or pain. The most obvious symptoms of frozen shoulder are shoulder pain and a limited range of movement in the shoulder.

    If you experience any of these symptoms, consult your orthopaedic specialist. Your doctor will recommend treatment options that best suit your lifestyle needs. Find out more about the treatment options and sports rehabilitation services available.

    Rotator Cuff Injury

    swelling of the shoulder

    The rotator cuff is the network of 4 muscles and several tendons that form a covering around the top of the upper arm bone. The rotator cuff holds the upper arm bone in place and enables the arm to rotate. Rotator cuff injury and inflammation is one of the most common causes of shoulder pain.

    There are 3 common types rotator cuff injury:

    • Rotator cuff tendonitis
    • Rotator cuff impingement syndrome
    • Rotator cuff tear

    Rotator cuff tendonitis is caused by irritation and inflammation of the tendons of the rotator cuff muscles. This may be due to an injury or overuse of the shoulder. It can occur in athletes who participate in throwing sports or in non-athletes with a history of recent heavy lifting or activities involving repetitive movements of the shoulder.

    Symptoms include generalised shoulder pain, or pain that worsens with overhead activities or at night.

    In rotator cuff impingement syndrome, the rotator cuff tendon becomes trapped and the tendon is repeatedly scraped against the shoulder blade, leading to fraying of the tendon. Symptoms include chronic pain that worsens at night or with overhead activities.

    Rotator cuff tears are tears in the rotator cuff tendon rather than in the muscles. Rotator cuff tears normally happen as a result of a fall or an accident in younger people. In older people, they are usually caused by rotator cuff impingement syndrome. Symptoms include pain and weakness.

    If you experience any of these symptoms, consult your orthopaedic specialist. Your doctor will recommend treatment options that best suit your lifestyle needs. Find out more about the treatment options and sports rehabilitation services available.

    Fracture

    shoulder

    A fracture occurs when the injury or trauma leads to breaking or displacement of the bones that make up the shoulder. Symptoms of a shoulder fracture include pain in the shoulder, tenderness, swelling, discolouration or deformity at the affected area and movement limitation.

    If you experience any of these symptoms, consult your orthopaedic specialist. Your doctor will recommend treatment options that best suit your lifestyle needs. Find out more about the treatment options and sports rehabilitation services available.

    Dislocation

    man with shoulder injury

    Shoulder dislocation occurs when the upper arm bone pops out of the socket that is part of the shoulder blade. Dislocation is a painful and traumatic injury that is often caused by a fall or during contact sports.

    Symptoms include swelling or bruising, intense pain, a visibly out-of-place shoulder, a numbing sensation along the neck area, and being unable to move the shoulder joint.

    If you experience any of these symptoms, consult your orthopaedic specialist. Your doctor will recommend treatment options that best suit your lifestyle needs. Find out more about the treatment options and sports rehabilitation services available.

    Tennis Elbow

    tennis elbow

    Tennis elbow is a common condition that is usually caused by excessive or repetitive turning or lifting of the elbow. The repetitive motion strains the muscles and tendons attached to the elbow, leading to tiny tears and inflammation near the bony lump (lateral epicondyle) on the outer part of the elbow.

    Common symptoms include pain on the outer part of the elbow, pain when bending or lifting the arm, writing or gripping objects, pain accompanied with stiffness upon full extension of the arm, tenderness or swelling.

    If you experience any of these symptoms, consult your orthopaedic specialist. Your doctor will recommend treatment options that best suit your lifestyle needs. Find out more about the treatment options and sports rehabilitation services available.

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    *This is not a complete list of all the conditions that we recognise and treat. The information is designed for educational reference only and should not be construed as medical advice.

    The symptom checker is not a diagnostic tool. Please consult one of our qualified orthopaedic specialists for an accurate diagnosis of what condition is causing your symptoms.