Shoulder and Elbow Injury

The shoulders and elbows are two of the most important joints in the human body. The shoulder allows the upper body to perform a wide range of movements, while the elbow connects the arm and the forearm, allowing the forearm and hand to be moved away and towards the body. Since these joints are constantly used on a daily basis, they are prone to strains and overuse, which can lead to elbow and shoulder joint injuries.

The most common shoulder injuries are shoulder sprain, shoulder arthritis and rotator cuff tendinitis. Shoulder sprains typically affect athletes who are likely to overuse and overstretch muscles and ligaments in the shoulder. Shoulder arthritis develops when the cartilage inside the shoulder joints become diseased and worn away. Rotator cuff tendinitis happens when tendons in the shoulder become irritated or inflamed.

Common types of elbow injuries include hyperextension, which happens when the elbow is over-extended by force, causing the ligament to tear. A sudden and strong impact can lead to a sprained elbow, in which the medial collateral ligament becomes stretched or torn. Accidents, falls and direct blows can also increase one’s risk of having an elbow fracture.

Signs and Symptoms of a Shoulder or Elbow Injury

Shoulder injuries in Singapore may be identified by signs and symptoms such as:

  • Shoulder pain
  • Deformity of the shoulder joint
  • Difficulty or inability to raise or rotate the arms
  • Swelling in the shoulder
  • Weakness or numbness of the arm and hand

On the other hand, symptoms of an elbow injury may include:

  • Pain and swelling in the elbow joint
  • Weak grip
  • Difficulty moving the elbow
  • Deformity in the elbow

Diagnosing an Elbow or Shoulder Injury

People experiencing any of the above signs and symptoms should seek medical care, especially if pain is debilitating and movement has been significantly limited. Diagnostic tests to identify the type of injury sustained may include:

  • Physical examination
  • X-ray
  • MRI or ultrasound
  • CT scan
  • Electromyography (EMG), which monitors electrical activity and nerve response of muscles
  • Biopsy of bursae fluid, in which fluid from the bursa—a sac that cushions the joints—is collected and examined

Treatment for Shoulder and Elbow Injuries

In mild cases, ample rest, appropriate ice and heat therapy may suffice. In moderate cases, immobilisation, physiotherapy and medications may be needed. If the pain persists, or if the injury was too severe to begin with, doctors may recommend surgery to treat it. Common surgical procedures include:

  • Arthroscopy – This is a minimally invasive procedure wherein the surgeon performs joint surgery through tiny incisions, instead of a traditional long incision. It is also used to diagnose joint problems.
  • Rotator cuff surgery – This involves repairing a torn tendon in the shoulder by stitching it back to its original place.
  • Shoulder or elbow joint replacement – Depending on the extent of damage, the joint may be fully or partially replaced using prosthetic parts.

What are the Shoulder and Elbow Conditions We Treat?

The Bone and Joint Centre is an orthopaedic clinic in Singapore that diagnoses and treats a complete range of orthopaedic problems, including shoulder and elbow injuries:

At The Bone and Joint Centre, we are well-equipped to perform a full range of diagnostic tests and treatments for all shoulder and elbow conditions. Contact us for a detailed assessment today.

Our orthopaedic specialist is widely recognised in his field to skilfully diagnose & treat your injury or condition so you can emerge stronger and safely return to the activities you enjoy.

For more information, please call 9898 7781 or click here to send us an email

At The Bone & Joint Centre, there is nothing more important than the health and well-being of our patients.

We want to assure you that we remain committed to providing the high quality and compassionate care you have come to expect from us. For more assistance, please call us at 9898 7781 or fill up the form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

The Bone & Joint Centre
Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre,
3 Mount Elizabeth, #14-15,
Singapore 228510
Tel : +65 6970 5905
Fax : +65 6970 5906
Mobile : +65 9898 7781
Opening Hours:
Mon – Fri: 8:30am to 5:30pm
Closed on Sat, Sun and PH
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