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Elbow Conditions

Here are some common elbow pain conditions that we specialise in

The elbow is a hinge joint composed of bones, muscles, tendons, and cartilage that make up a system that significantly influences your range of motion and quality of life. What are some common elbow conditions, and what can be done to treat and manage them?

WHAT IS TENNIS ELBOW?
CAUSES  |  SYMPTOMS  |  TREATMENT OPTIONS

.
Tennis Elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, results from damage and disorganised healing of the tendon over the elbow’s outer aspect that helps raise the wrist.
.

What Causes Tennis Elbow? 

Repetitive wrist movements can result in increased wear and tear of the tendon over the outer aspect of the elbow. This can result in disorganised healing or even tears of the surrounding tendons and ligaments. 

Some activities that may cause Tennis Elbow include:Alternatively, one may suffer from an acute tear which is the result of an injury. This can occur if you fall with an outstretched arm or try to lift a heavy object incorrectly. An acute tear can also happen together with other shoulder-related conditions such as a dislocated shoulder.

  • Racquet sports such as Tennis and Badminton
  • Gardening using Shears
  • Painting
  • Using Plumbing Tools
  • Playing the Violin

.

What are the Symptoms of Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow can range from mild pain while performing minor tasks to severe pain even when the elbow is at rest. The pain tends to increase as one engages in activities that involve heavy wrist movement. 

Some of the early signs of the painful condition include: 

  • Pain over the outer aspect of the elbow that worsens with carrying heavy loads 
  • Persistent aching around the elbow joint area
  • Worsening pain when grasping or holding an object
  • Tenderness in the elbow area followed by soreness of the forearm muscles
    .

Tennis Elbow Treatment

Tennis elbow tends to heal on its own, with adequate rest and activity modification. Taking a break from strenuous activities that strain the elbow joint muscles and tendons can help speed up the healing process. 

Non-Surgical Treatment for Tennis Elbow

  • Physiotherapy and Activity Modification
    Targeted stretching, strengthening, and flexibility exercises can help alleviate pain and improve elbow function. Changing your tennis racquet’s grip size and string tension and avoiding playing with wet tennis balls can also help reduce the chance of recurrence of this problem.
  • Medication
    Medication may be prescribed to help manage your symptoms. Our doctors may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs or paracetamol.

Surgical Treatment for Tennis Elbow

Surgery is a treatment option for persistent cases of tennis elbow where non-surgical approaches have failed.  

  • Elbow Arthroscopy
    In some cases, elbow arthroscopy is first performed to rule out other causes of elbow pain and assess the stability of the elbow. The standard surgical treatment for tennis elbow involves cleaning up the damaged tendon and repairing it where possible.
  • Elbow Tendon Repair or Reconstruction
    Surgery generally involves cleaning up and repairing the damaged tendon. However, if the damaged tendon is irreparable, our doctor may attempt a reconstruction.

What Is Tennis Elbow?

WHAT IS GOLFER’S ELBOW?
CAUSES  |  SYMPTOMS  |  TREATMENT OPTIONS
.
.
Golfer’s elbow is a condition characterised by pain and inflammation due to damage to the muscles and tendons that cross the inner aspect of the elbow. While the pain is typically centred over the elbow area, it can spread to the forearm and wrist in severe instances.

However, this condition does not only affect golfers. It can happen to any person regardless of gender, age, or choice of sport. Those who engage in vigorous activities that have repetitive hand or forearm motions are more susceptible.

Athletes engaging in bowling, baseball, golf, or tennis are usually at a high risk of developing this condition. Additionally, obese individuals, adults above 40 years, and smokers at also at increased risk of suffering from golfer’s elbow.
.

What Causes Golfer’s Elbow? 

A variety of sports and occupations may increase one’s risk of developing golfer’s elbow. These activities may include: 

Sports

  • Improper technique while lifting weights
  • Throwing sports such as baseball or softball might cause strain to the tendons
  • Sports such as baseball, golf, bowling, or tennis can also cause injury to the elbow

Occupational 

Butchers, plumbers, construction workers, and regular computer users are also at a high risk of developing golfer’s elbow given the nature of their work.
.

What are the Symptoms of Golfer’s Elbow?

The following are symptoms of Golfer’s Elbow: 

  • Unbearable pain near the bony knob on the inner aspect of the elbow 
  • In some instances, the pain can extend to the entire forearm
  • Experiencing pain when trying to make a fist
  • Weakness in the hands and wrists as a result of elbow pain
    .

Golfer’s Elbow Treatment

Golfer’s elbow tends to heal on its own. Taking a break from strenuous activities that strain the elbow joint muscles and tendons can help speed up the healing process by reducing the rate of wear and tear and allowing the body to heal. 

Non-Surgical Treatment for Tennis Elbow

  • Physiotherapy
    Targeted stretching, strength, and flexibility exercises can help alleviate pain and improve elbow function.
  • Medication
    Medication may be prescribed to help manage your symptoms. Our doctors may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs or paracetamol.

Surgical Treatment for Tennis Elbow

Surgery is a treatment option for persistent cases of golfer’s elbow where non-surgical approaches have failed.  

  • Elbow Tendon Repair or Reconstruction
    Surgery generally involves cleaning up and repairing the damaged tendon. However, if the damaged tendon is irreparable, our doctor may attempt a reconstruction.

What Is Golfer's Elbow?

WHAT IS ELBOW INSTABILITY?
CAUSES  |  SYMPTOMS  |  TREATMENT OPTIONS
.
.
Elbow instability, also referred to as collateral ligament injury, refers to looseness of the elbow. This occurs due to injuries or tears of the side ligaments of the elbow, which are responsible for stabilising the elbow.
.

What Causes Elbow Instability? 

Some of the causes of Elbow Instability include:  

  • Athletes that engage in overarm throwing sports such as cricket or baseball. Repetitive stretching of the ligaments eventually results in tearing of the elbow ligaments.
  • Trauma to the elbow, such as fractures or dislocations around the elbow.
    .

What are the Symptoms of Elbow Instability?

Some of the symptoms associated with Elbow Instability include: 

  • Pain around the elbow 
  • Swelling and tenderness of the elbow area
  • Partial dislocations of the elbow joint, which can be felt as the elbow giving way
  • Inability to throw a ball or lift objects
  • Clicking of the elbow joint or instability
    .

Elbow Instability Treatment

For less severe cases of elbow instability, rest and physiotherapy are sufficient for a full recovery. However, you may need surgery if non-surgical treatments do not work. Surgery is usually considered for patients with elbow pain which inhibits them from carrying out daily activities. 

Non-Surgical Treatment for Elbow Instability

  • Rest
    In this case, a patient can abstain from any activity that involves throwing objects for some time. Resting the elbow can help relieve some pressure on the elbow, thus allowing it to heal independently.
  • Physiotherapy
    Physiotherapy, when appropriately administered, can help improve muscle strength, thus allowing the elbow joint to regain stability with time.

Surgical Treatment for Elbow Instability

Surgery is a treatment option for persistent cases of golfer’s elbow where non-surgical approaches have failed.  

  • Elbow Arthroscopy
    Elbow arthroscopy is often performed to assess the internal structure and stability of the elbow joint. Certain injuries may also be repaired using this method.
  • Elbow Reconstruction Surgery
    Surgical reconstruction of the torn ligaments may restore stability to the elbow. This would ultimately help restore the elbow function and resolve the symptoms of pain and instability.

What Is Elbow Instability?

WHAT IS ELBOW BURSITIS?
CAUSES  |  SYMPTOMS  |  TREATMENT OPTIONS
.
.
Elbow Bursitis is also known as Olecranon Bursitis. The olecranon is a pointed bone that forms the tip of the elbow. The bursa is the fluid sac that lies between the olecranon and the skin on the elbow. It enables the skin to slide over the bone smoothly without irritation.

If it gets irritated or inflamed, the bursa can swell up and enlarge. This inflammation is referred to as bursitis.
.

What Causes Elbow Bursitis? 

The cause of elbow bursitis may be unknown in some cases. However, some known causes include:  

  • Direct impact on the bursa
  • Prolonged pressure on the tip of your elbow.
  • Engaging in jobs that require you to crawl, thus engaging the elbow
  • Pre-existing conditions such as gout and rheumatoid arthritis
    .

What are the Symptoms of Elbow Bursitis?

There are various symptoms of elbow bursitis; the following are some common ones: 

  • Swelling at the elbow tip 
  • The swelling is usually gradual, but in some cases, it might develop quickly
  • Warm and red skin around the elbow
  • In some rare cases, the inflamed bursa can get infected
    .

Elbow Bursitis Treatment

In standard cases, painkillers and rest will be sufficient, and you will recover in about a month. However, if the swelling does not subside or remains symptomatic, further intervention may help.

Non-Surgical Treatment for Elbow Bursitis

  • Rest
    As simple as it sounds, resting the elbow can help heal bursitis. Stay clear of activities that put direct pressure on your elbow. The swelling may not fully resolve as the scarred bursa may sometimes remain thickened.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Medications
    Our doctors may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications initially to help to reduce the swelling and reduce the pain you are experiencing in your elbow.

Surgical Treatment for Elbow Bursitis

  • Elbow Arthroscopy
    The fluid in larger lumps can be aspirated with a needle in a clinic setting. While this may reduce the overall size, there will likely be residual fluid and swelling within the lump. The fluid may also reaccumulate over the next few days if the underlying inflammation has not resolved.

    In symptomatic or recurrent cases, the bursa can be surgically excised through an incision in the back of the elbow or via arthroscopic (keyhole) techniques. In symptomatic or recurrent cases, the bursa can be surgically excised through an incision in the back of the elbow.


What Is Elbow Bursitis?

WHAT IS ELBOW OSTEOARTHRITIS?
CAUSES  |  SYMPTOMS  |  TREATMENT OPTIONS
.
.
The elbow consists of three bones (the ulna, humerus, and radius) covered with cartilage that prevents the bones from rubbing directly against each other.

When this protective cartilage wears out or gets damaged, osteoarthritis of the elbow occurs.
.

What Causes Elbow Osteoarthritis? 

Here are some causes of Elbow Osteoarthritis:  

  • Previous elbow injuries like dislocation of the elbow or even a fracture
  • Previous surgery to correct a problem in the elbow joint
  • Injured joint ligaments which destabilise the elbow
  • Physically demanding outdoor activities
    .

What are the Symptoms of Elbow Osteoarthritis?

The common symptoms of elbow osteoarthritis are: 

    • Stiffness and pain when moving the elbow 
    • Swelling at the elbow

.

Elbow Osteoarthritis Treatment

There are various treatment options for arthritis in the shoulder, such as medication, lifestyle changes (such as daily activities and exercise) or physiotherapy. However, if your condition has worsened, surgery may be recommended.

Our Orthopaedic Surgeons will be able to determine which treatments are most suitable for your condition.

Non-Surgical Treatment for Elbow Osteoarthritis

  • Physiotherapy
    Targeted strength and flexibility exercises can help to alleviate pain and improve the function of the elbow.
  • Medication
    Medications may be prescribed to help manage your symptoms. Our doctors may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs or paracetamol.
  • Supplements
    Supplements can also help to reduce pain and inflammation, as well as improve function in your elbow.

Surgical Treatment for Elbow Osteoarthritis

  • Joint Preservation Surgery
    Keyhole procedures may help reduce the pain and improve the function of your elbow. This involves cleaning up the joint and removing bone spurs.
  • Elbow Replacement Surgery
    In severe cases, the elbow joint has to be replaced with an artificial joint.


What Is Elbow Osteoarthritis?

WHAT IS ELBOW DISLOCATION?
CAUSES  |  SYMPTOMS  |  TREATMENT OPTIONS
.
.
The elbow is the joint between the arm and forearm bones. This joint is said to be dislocated when the surfaces of the three bones, ulna, radius, and humerus, are separated. Dislocation of the elbow can either be partial or complete.

Elbow dislocations are usually associated with ligament tears, tendon tears, and sometimes fractures around the elbow.
.

What Causes Elbow Dislocation? 

Elbow dislocations usually occur:  

    • After a traumatic fall
    • Falling from a bike
    • Falling awkwardly during sports or on slippery ground

.

What are the Symptoms of Elbow Dislocation?

At the time of injury, the elbow will be very painful and deformed. One may not be able to control the elbow as the joint is out of place. This is usually accompanied by swelling. 

Once the bones are put back in place, one may: 

    • Feel persistent looseness in the joint 
    • Experience recurrent dislocations.

.

Elbow Dislocation Treatment

It is essential that a dislocated joint be put back in place as soon as possible. After that, the treatment often depends on the severity of the dislocation.

Non-Surgical Treatment for Elbow Dislocation

Non-surgical treatment options are primarily applicable to simple dislocations. The elbow is immobilised in a cast or elbow brace for a few weeks to heal the muscle and ligaments.

  • Physiotherapy
    Once the elbow has started to heal, range-of-motion exercises help restore normal elbow flexibility and strength. This may take several months.

Surgical Treatment for Elbow Dislocation

  • Elbow Reconstruction Surgery
    Surgery often involves fixing the broken bones and repairing or reconstructing torn ligaments or tendons. With stable fixation and reconstruction, early mobilisation of the elbow joint is possible.

    This will help restore your elbow’s full range of motion and helps prevent long-term problems of elbow stiffness and pain.


What is Elbow Dislocation?

Tennis Elbow

What is Tennis Elbow?
CAUSES  |  SYMPTOMS  |  TREATMENT OPTIONS

Tennis Elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, results from damage and disorganised healing of the tendon over the elbow’s outer aspect that helps raise the wrist.
.

What Causes a Tennis Elbow? 

Repetitive wrist movements can result in increased wear and tear of the tendon over the outer aspect of the elbow. This can result in disorganised healing or even tears of the surrounding tendons and ligaments. 

Some activities that may cause Tennis Elbow include:Alternatively, one may suffer from an acute tear which is the result of an injury. This can occur if you fall with an outstretched arm or try to lift a heavy object incorrectly. An acute tear can also happen together with other shoulder-related conditions such as a dislocated shoulder.

  • Racquet sports such as Tennis and Badminton
  • Gardening using Shears
  • Painting
  • Using Plumbing Tools
  • Playing the Violin

.

What are the Symptoms of Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow can range from mild pain while performing minor tasks to severe pain even when the elbow is at rest. The pain tends to increase as one engages in activities that involve heavy wrist movement. 

Some of the early signs of the painful condition include: 

  • Pain over the outer aspect of the elbow that worsens with carrying heavy loads 
  • Persistent aching around the elbow joint area
  • Worsening pain when grasping or holding an object
  • Tenderness in the elbow area followed by soreness of the forearm muscles
    .

Tennis Elbow Treatment

Tennis elbow tends to heal on its own, with adequate rest and activity modification. Taking a break from strenuous activities that strain the elbow joint muscles and tendons can help speed up the healing process. 

Non-Surgical Treatment for Tennis Elbow

  • Physiotherapy and Activity Modification
    Targeted stretching, strengthening, and flexibility exercises can help alleviate pain and improve elbow function. Changing your tennis racquet’s grip size and string tension and avoiding playing with wet tennis balls can also help reduce the chance of recurrence of this problem.
  • Medication
    Medication may be prescribed to help manage your symptoms. Our doctors may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs or paracetamol.

Surgical Treatment for Tennis Elbow

Surgery is a treatment option for persistent cases of tennis elbow where non-surgical approaches have failed.  

  • Elbow Arthroscopy
    In some cases, elbow arthroscopy is first performed to rule out other causes of elbow pain and assess the stability of the elbow. The standard surgical treatment for tennis elbow involves cleaning up the damaged tendon and repairing it where possible.
  • Elbow Tendon Repair or Reconstruction
    Surgery generally involves cleaning up and repairing the damaged tendon. However, if the damaged tendon is irreparable, our doctor may attempt a reconstruction.
Golfer’s Elbow

What is Golfer’s Elbow?
CAUSES  |  SYMPTOMS  |  TREATMENT OPTIONS
.
.
Golfer’s elbow is a condition characterised by pain and inflammation due to damage to the muscles and tendons that cross the inner aspect of the elbow. While the pain is typically centred over the elbow area, it can spread to the forearm and wrist in severe instances.

However, this condition does not only affect golfers. It can happen to any person regardless of gender, age, or choice of sport. Those who engage in vigorous activities that have repetitive hand or forearm motions are more susceptible.

Athletes engaging in bowling, baseball, golf, or tennis are usually at a high risk of developing this condition. Additionally, obese individuals, adults above 40 years, and smokers at also at increased risk of suffering from golfer’s elbow.
.

What Causes Golfer’s Elbow? 

A variety of sports and occupations may increase one’s risk of developing golfer’s elbow. These activities may include: 

Sports

  • Improper technique while lifting weights
  • Throwing sports such as baseball or softball might cause strain to the tendons
  • Sports such as baseball, golf, bowling, or tennis can also cause injury to the elbow

Occupational 

Butchers, plumbers, construction workers, and regular computer users are also at a high risk of developing golfer’s elbow given the nature of their work.
.

What are the Symptoms of Golfer’s Elbow?

The following are symptoms of Golfer’s Elbow: 

  • Unbearable pain near the bony knob on the inner aspect of the elbow 
  • In some instances, the pain can extend to the entire forearm
  • Experiencing pain when trying to make a fist
  • Weakness in the hands and wrists as a result of elbow pain
    .

Golfer’s Elbow Treatment

Golfer’s elbow tends to heal on its own. Taking a break from strenuous activities that strain the elbow joint muscles and tendons can help speed up the healing process by reducing the rate of wear and tear and allowing the body to heal. 

Non-Surgical Treatment for Tennis Elbow

  • Physiotherapy
    Targeted stretching, strength, and flexibility exercises can help alleviate pain and improve elbow function.
  • Medication
    Medication may be prescribed to help manage your symptoms. Our doctors may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs or paracetamol.

Surgical Treatment for Tennis Elbow

Surgery is a treatment option for persistent cases of golfer’s elbow where non-surgical approaches have failed.  

  • Elbow Tendon Repair or Reconstruction
    Surgery generally involves cleaning up and repairing the damaged tendon. However, if the damaged tendon is irreparable, our doctor may attempt a reconstruction.
Elbow Instability

What is Elbow Instability?
CAUSES  |  SYMPTOMS  |  TREATMENT OPTIONS
.
.
Elbow instability, also referred to as collateral ligament injury, refers to looseness of the elbow. This occurs due to injuries or tears of the side ligaments of the elbow, which are responsible for stabilising the elbow.
.

What Causes Elbow Instability? 

Some of the causes of Elbow Instability include:  

  • Athletes that engage in overarm throwing sports such as cricket or baseball. Repetitive stretching of the ligaments eventually results in tearing of the elbow ligaments.
  • Trauma to the elbow, such as fractures or dislocations around the elbow.
    .

What are the Symptoms of Elbow Instability?

Some of the symptoms associated with Elbow Instability include: 

  • Pain around the elbow 
  • Swelling and tenderness of the elbow area
  • Partial dislocations of the elbow joint, which can be felt as the elbow giving way
  • Inability to throw a ball or lift objects
  • Clicking of the elbow joint or instability
    .

Elbow Instability Treatment

For less severe cases of elbow instability, rest and physiotherapy are sufficient for a full recovery. However, you may need surgery if non-surgical treatments do not work. Surgery is usually considered for patients with elbow pain which inhibits them from carrying out daily activities. 

Non-Surgical Treatment for Elbow Instability

  • Rest
    In this case, a patient can abstain from any activity that involves throwing objects for some time. Resting the elbow can help relieve some pressure on the elbow, thus allowing it to heal independently.
  • Physiotherapy
    Physiotherapy, when appropriately administered, can help improve muscle strength, thus allowing the elbow joint to regain stability with time.

Surgical Treatment for Elbow Instability

Surgery is a treatment option for persistent cases of golfer’s elbow where non-surgical approaches have failed.  

  • Elbow Arthroscopy
    Elbow arthroscopy is often performed to assess the internal structure and stability of the elbow joint. Certain injuries may also be repaired using this method.
  • Elbow Reconstruction Surgery
    Surgical reconstruction of the torn ligaments may restore stability to the elbow. This would ultimately help restore the elbow function and resolve the symptoms of pain and instability.
Elbow Bursitis

What is Elbow Bursitis?
CAUSES  |  SYMPTOMS  |  TREATMENT OPTIONS
.
.
Elbow Bursitis is also known as Olecranon Bursitis. The olecranon is a pointed bone that forms the tip of the elbow. The bursa is the fluid sac that lies between the olecranon and the skin on the elbow. It enables the skin to slide over the bone smoothly without irritation.

If it gets irritated or inflamed, the bursa can swell up and enlarge. This inflammation is referred to as bursitis.
.

What Causes Elbow Bursitis? 

The cause of elbow bursitis may be unknown in some cases. However, some known causes include:  

  • Direct impact on the bursa
  • Prolonged pressure on the tip of your elbow.
  • Engaging in jobs that require you to crawl, thus engaging the elbow
  • Pre-existing conditions such as gout and rheumatoid arthritis
    .

What are the Symptoms of Elbow Bursitis?

There are various symptoms of elbow bursitis; the following are some common ones: 

  • Swelling at the elbow tip 
  • The swelling is usually gradual, but in some cases, it might develop quickly
  • Warm and red skin around the elbow
  • In some rare cases, the inflamed bursa can get infected
    .

Elbow Bursitis Treatment

In standard cases, painkillers and rest will be sufficient, and you will recover in about a month. However, if the swelling does not subside or remains symptomatic, further intervention may help.

Non-Surgical Treatment for Elbow Bursitis

  • Rest
    As simple as it sounds, resting the elbow can help heal bursitis. Stay clear of activities that put direct pressure on your elbow. The swelling may not fully resolve as the scarred bursa may sometimes remain thickened.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Medications
    Our doctors may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications initially to help to reduce the swelling and reduce the pain you are experiencing in your elbow.

Surgical Treatment for Elbow Bursitis

  • Elbow Arthroscopy
    The fluid in larger lumps can be aspirated with a needle in a clinic setting. While this may reduce the overall size, there will likely be residual fluid and swelling within the lump. The fluid may also reaccumulate over the next few days if the underlying inflammation has not resolved.

    In symptomatic or recurrent cases, the bursa can be surgically excised through an incision in the back of the elbow or via arthroscopic (keyhole) techniques. In symptomatic or recurrent cases, the bursa can be surgically excised through an incision in the back of the elbow.

Elbow Osteoarthritis

What is Elbow Osteoarthritis?
CAUSES  |  SYMPTOMS  |  TREATMENT OPTIONS
.
.
The elbow consists of three bones (the ulna, humerus, and radius) covered with cartilage that prevents the bones from rubbing directly against each other.

When this protective cartilage wears out or gets damaged, osteoarthritis of the elbow occurs.
.

What Causes Elbow Osteoarthritis? 

Here are some causes of Elbow Osteoarthritis:  

  • Previous elbow injuries like dislocation of the elbow or even a fracture
  • Previous surgery to correct a problem in the elbow joint
  • Injured joint ligaments which destabilise the elbow
  • Physically demanding outdoor activities
    .

What are the Symptoms of Elbow Osteoarthritis?

The common symptoms of elbow osteoarthritis are: 

    • Stiffness and pain when moving the elbow 
    • Swelling at the elbow

.

Elbow Osteoarthritis Treatment

There are various treatment options for arthritis in the shoulder, such as medication, lifestyle changes (such as daily activities and exercise) or physiotherapy. However, if your condition has worsened, surgery may be recommended.

Our Orthopaedic Surgeons will be able to determine which treatments are most suitable for your condition.

Non-Surgical Treatment for Elbow Bursitis

  • Physiotherapy
    Targeted strength and flexibility exercises can help to alleviate pain and improve the function of the elbow.
  • Medication
    Medications may be prescribed to help manage your symptoms. Our doctors may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs or paracetamol.
  • Supplements
    Supplements can also help to reduce pain and inflammation, as well as improve function in your elbow.

Surgical Treatment for Elbow Bursitis

  • Joint Preservation Surgery
    Keyhole procedures may help reduce the pain and improve the function of your elbow. This involves cleaning up the joint and removing bone spurs.
  • Elbow Replacement Surgery
    In severe cases, the elbow joint has to be replaced with an artificial joint.
Elbow Dislocation

What is Elbow Dislocation?
CAUSES  |  SYMPTOMS  |  TREATMENT OPTIONS
.
The elbow is the joint between the arm and forearm bones. This joint is said to be dislocated when the surfaces of the three bones, ulna, radius, and humerus, are separated. Dislocation of the elbow can either be partial or complete.

Elbow dislocations are usually associated with ligament tears, tendon tears, and sometimes fractures around the elbow.
.

What Causes Elbow Dislocation? 

Elbow dislocations usually occur:  

    • After a traumatic fall
    • Falling from a bike
    • Falling awkwardly during sports or on slippery ground

.

What are the Symptoms of Elbow Dislocation?

At the time of injury, the elbow will be very painful and deformed. One may not be able to control the elbow as the joint is out of place. This is usually accompanied by swelling. 

Once the bones are put back in place, one may: 

    • Feel persistent looseness in the joint 
    • Experience recurrent dislocations.

.

Elbow Dislocation Treatment

It is essential that a dislocated joint be put back in place as soon as possible. After that, the treatment often depends on the severity of the dislocation.

Non-Surgical Treatment for Elbow Dislocation

Non-surgical treatment options are primarily applicable to simple dislocations. The elbow is immobilised in a cast or elbow brace for a few weeks to heal the muscle and ligaments.

  • Physiotherapy
    Once the elbow has started to heal, range-of-motion exercises help restore normal elbow flexibility and strength. This may take several months.

Surgical Treatment for Elbow Dislocation

  • Elbow Reconstruction Surgery
    Surgery often involves fixing the broken bones and repairing or reconstructing torn ligaments or tendons. With stable fixation and reconstruction, early mobilisation of the elbow joint is possible.

    This will help restore your elbow’s full range of motion and helps prevent long-term problems of elbow stiffness and pain.

Pain Symptoms

Find out which condition matches your pain points the best. Do note that it may not be accurate, but we hope to give you a better idea of the condition that you may be experiencing.

  • Stiffness of the elbow
  • Persistent aching around the elbow joint  area
  • Worsening pain when grasping or holding an object
  • Tenderness in the elbow area and soreness of the forearm muscles
  • Unbearable pain near the bony knob inside the elbow, perhaps extends to the entire forearm. 
  • Experiencing pain when trying to make a fist
  • Weakness in the hands and wrists 
  • Numbness or tingling sensation that radiates into one or more fingers 
  • A locking sensation within the elbow joint (like a grating feeling)
  • A tingling sensation at the elbow
  • Pain when flexing and extending your elbow
  • A significantly weakened grip strength

You may have:
Tennis Elbow
Tennis elbow condition comes into being on the overuse of the muscles around the elbow joint.

Overworking the elbow joint causes the straining as well as the tearing of the muscles and tendons. Straining and tearing ends up triggering inflammation on the outside of the elbow.

Find Out More

Find Out

You may have:
Golfer’s Elbow
Golfer’s elbow is a condition characterized by pain and inflammation due to damage to the muscles and tendons that connect the forearm to the elbow.

Athletes engaging in bowling, baseball, golf, or tennis are usually at a high risk of contracting the condition. Obese individuals, adults above 40 years as well as smokers, are also at a high risk of developing Golfer’s elbow.

While the pain is centred on the elbow area, in severe instances, it can spread to the forearm and wrist.

Find Out More

Find Out

You may have:
Elbow Osteoarthritis
This happens when the protective cartilage at the elbow joint wears out or gets damaged.

Some of the common causes of Elbow Osteoarthritis are:
1. Previous elbow injuries like dislocation of the elbow or even a fracture
2. Previously undergone surgery to correct a problem in the elbow joint
3. Injured joint ligaments which destabilize the elbow
4. Physically demanding outdoor activities. These include sports games like basketball or baseball

While the pain is centered on the elbow area, in severe instances, it can spread to the forearm and wrist.

Find Out More

Find Out

  • Swelling at the elbow tip
  • Restricted elbow motion
  • Warm and red skin around the elbow
  • Pus 
  • Pain on the inner side of the elbow
  • Swelling and tenderness of the elbow area
  • Inability to throw a  ball or lift objects
  • Clicking of the elbow joint or instability
  • There is pain, but not very sharp
  • There is a dislocation but not accompanied by a bone fracture
  • The elbow joint feels weak
  • Swelling of the joint
  • Inability to move your forearm freely

You may have:
Elbow Bursitis
Elbow Bursitis is also known as Olecranon Bursitis. When the bursa, which is a sac of fluid that enables the skin to slide over the olecranon smoothly without being abraded, gets irritated or inflamed, the bursa can swell up and enlarge.

This inflammation is what is referred to as bursitis. The most common symptom is a swelling at the elbow tip.

People who suffer conditions like gout and rheumatoid arthritis are at higher risks of having elbow bursitis.

Find Out More

Find Out

You may have:
Elbow Instability
Elbow instability, also referred to as collateral ligament injury, refers to instability or looseness of the elbow. Elbow instability occurs whenever the elbow is subjected to a force exceeding the tensile properties of the collateral ligament.

Those suffering from Elbow Instability might feel a pain on the inner side of the elbow, a common symptom of Elbow Instability. It’s also more common in those who have experienced an elbow dislocation previously.

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You may have:
Elbow Dislocation
The elbow joint forms where the forearm and arm bones meet. The ulna and the radius make up the forearm while the arm consists of just one bone, the humerus. This joint is said to be dislocated when the surfaces of the three bones are separated. Dislocation of the elbow can be partial or complete.

Some common causes of dislocation can be:
1. Having a bad fall with your hand outstretched
2. A bad knock or fall while playing
3. Injured joint ligaments which destabilize the elbow
4. Overusing the arm like in manual jobs

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Pain Symptoms

Find out which condition matches your pain points the best. Do note that it may not be accurate, but we hope to give you a better idea of the condition that you may be experiencing.

  • Stiffness of the elbow
  • Persistent aching around the elbow joint  area
  • Worsening pain when grasping or holding an object
  • Tenderness in the elbow area and soreness of the forearm muscles

You may have:
Tennis Elbow
Tennis elbow condition comes into being on the overuse of the muscles around the elbow joint.

Overworking the elbow joint causes the straining as well as the tearing of the muscles and tendons. Straining and tearing ends up triggering inflammation on the outside of the elbow.

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  • Unbearable pain near the bony knob inside the elbow, perhaps extends to the entire forearm. 
  • Experiencing pain when trying to make a fist
  • Weakness in the hands and wrists 
  • Numbness or tingling sensation that radiates into one or more fingers 

You may have:
Golfer’s Elbow
Golfer’s elbow is a condition characterized by pain and inflammation due to damage to the muscles and tendons that connect the forearm to the elbow.

Athletes engaging in bowling, baseball, golf, or tennis are usually at a high risk of contracting the condition. Obese individuals, adults above 40 years as well as smokers, are also at a high risk of developing Golfer’s elbow.

While the pain is centred on the elbow area, in severe instances, it can spread to the forearm and wrist.

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  • A locking sensation within the elbow joint (like a grating feeling)
  • A tingling sensation at the elbow
  • Pain when flexing and extending your elbow
  • A significantly weakened grip strength

You may have:
Elbow Osteoarthritis
This happens when the protective cartilage at the elbow joint wears out or gets damaged.

Some of the common causes of Elbow Osteoarthritis are:
1. Previous elbow injuries like dislocation of the elbow or even a fracture
2. Previously undergone surgery to correct a problem in the elbow joint
3. Injured joint ligaments which destabilize the elbow
4. Physically demanding outdoor activities. These include sports games like basketball or baseball

While the pain is centered on the elbow area, in severe instances, it can spread to the forearm and wrist.

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  • Swelling at the elbow tip
  • Restricted elbow motion
  • Warm and red skin around the elbow
  • Pus 

You may have:
Elbow Bursitis
Elbow Bursitis is also known as Olecranon Bursitis. When the bursa, which is a sac of fluid that enables the skin to slide over the olecranon smoothly without being abraded, gets irritated or inflamed, the bursa can swell up and enlarge.

This inflammation is what is referred to as bursitis. The most common symptom is a swelling at the elbow tip.

People who suffer conditions like gout and rheumatoid arthritis are at higher risks of having elbow bursitis.

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  • Pain on the inner side of the elbow
  • Swelling and tenderness of the elbow area
  • Inability to throw a  ball or lift objects
  • Clicking of the elbow joint or instability

You may have:
Elbow Instability
Elbow instability, also referred to as collateral ligament injury, refers to instability or looseness of the elbow. Elbow instability occurs whenever the elbow is subjected to a force exceeding the tensile properties of the collateral ligament.

Those suffering from Elbow Instability might feel a pain on the inner side of the elbow, a common symptom of Elbow Instability. It’s also more common in those who have experienced an elbow dislocation previously.

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  • There is pain, but not very sharp
  • There is a dislocation but not accompanied by a bone fracture
  • The elbow joint feels weak
  • Swelling of the joint
  • Inability to move your forearm freely

You may have:
Elbow Dislocation
The elbow joint forms where the forearm and arm bones meet. The ulna and the radius make up the forearm while the arm consists of just one bone, the humerus. This joint is said to be dislocated when the surfaces of the three bones are separated. Dislocation of the elbow can be partial or complete.

Some common causes of dislocation can be:
1. Having a bad fall with your hand outstretched
2. A bad knock or fall while playing
3. Injured joint ligaments which destabilize the elbow
4. Overusing the arm like in manual jobs

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What is a Rotator Cuff Tear?What is a Shoulder Impingement?What is a Dislocated Shoulder?
What is SLAP Tear?What is a Frozen Shoulder?What is Shoulder Arthritis?

What is a Rotator Cuff Tear?

What is a Rotator Cuff Tear?
CAUSES  |  SYMPTOMS  |  TREATMENT OPTIONS

To get a better understanding of what a rotator cuff tear is, it would help to understand the anatomy of your shoulder. Your shoulder is made up of three bones. These are your humerus (the upper arm bone), your scapula (the shoulder blade), and your clavicle (the collarbone). The top of your humerus fits into the scapula to form your shoulder.

Made up of four muscles that come together as tendons, the rotator cuff is what holds your scapula and humerus together. The rotator cuff is responsible for your ability to lift and rotate your arm.

If any of these tendons are damaged or torn, they are no longer fully attached to the top of your humerus. A torn tendon typically begins to fray before completely tearing. You may experience either a partial or full-thickness tear. 

A partial tear refers to a damaged tendon that has not yet completely severed. Alternatively, a full-thickness tear refers to a complete tear that leaves a hole in the tendon. 

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What Causes a Rotator Cuff Tear? 

A rotator cuff tear is typically caused by one of two things – these are either degeneration or injury. 

A degenerative tear refers to general wear and tear of the muscles that make up your rotator cuff over time. A degenerative tear in one arm often leads to a tear in the unaffected arm. Factors such as repetitive stress, a reduced blood supply (which occurs with age), and bone overgrowth (bone spurs) may all contribute to a degenerative rotator cuff tear. 

Alternatively, one may suffer from an acute tear which is the result of an injury. This can occur if you fall with an outstretched arm or try to lift a heavy object incorrectly. An acute tear can also happen together with other shoulder-related conditions such as a dislocated shoulder.
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What are the Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Tear?

The symptoms of a rotator cuff tear tend to occur both when the arm is moved in a specific direction and when the arm is at rest. Patients often describe this as a weakness and ache in the arm, which can lead to issues trying to sleep at night. 

You may experience some of these symptoms if you are suffering from a rotator cuff tear: 

      • A dull ache from ‘deep’ in the shoulder 
      • Difficulty reaching back or overhead
      • Issues sleeping on the affected shoulder
      • A crackling sensation when the shoulder is moved in a particular direction
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Rotator Cuff Tear Treatment

If you find yourself experiencing chronic shoulder pain, make an appointment to see a doctor. Treatment of rotator cuff tears varies based on several factors. Our doctors will first examine the type of tear you are suffering from, your age, activity level, and general health before deciding on the best course of treatment. 

Non-Surgical
Typically, a non-surgical treatment plan will be explored first. You may be asked to allow your shoulder plenty of rest by steering clear of overhead activity and keeping the affected arm in a sling. You may also be prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce the swelling. There are also some strengthening exercises that you may be asked to practice that can help relieve pain and prevent further injury. Lastly, our doctors may prescribe a steroid injection. 

Non-surgical treatment of rotator cuff tears is usually recommended as there are no risks of infection or lengthy recovery times.

Surgical 
However, if the condition persists, a surgical treatment plan may need to be put in place as you may be at risk of the tear increasing in size over time. 

If you lead a reasonably active lifestyle and use your arms for overhead work or sports, a surgical plan may be the recommended option for you. Additionally, should your rotator cuff tear be on the larger side (more than 3cm) with healthy surrounding tissue, our doctor may also advise that you explore the surgical treatment option.

Typically, surgery to fix a rotator cuff tear will involve reattaching the tendon to the humerus. However, our doctors will discuss which method best suits you and your needs.


What is Shoulder Impingement?

What is Shoulder Impingement?
CAUSES  |  SYMPTOMS  |  TREATMENT OPTIONS

Shoulder impingement is usually caused by pinching of the rotator cuff tendons and their overlying bursa between the bones in one’s shoulder, which can occur when reaching overhead. Shoulder impingement can also be associated with other rotator cuff injuries. 

Typically, an impinging shoulder will resolve itself in a matter of weeks to months. This is especially so with the right strengthening exercises. However, there are cases where it can become an ongoing problem.

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What Causes Shoulder Impingement?  

The movement of lifting your arm causes the tendon to pass through the subacromial space, which exists at the top of your shoulder. This space can be narrowed with poor shoulder posture or poor muscle balance. 

Alternatively, the bursa overlying the tendons may become inflamed and irritated from either overuse of the shoulder or a shoulder injury. 

Other causes of shoulder impingement include the development of bony spurs on the acromion as one ages or a curved acromion.

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What are the Symptoms of Shoulder Impingement? 

The symptoms of shoulder impingement are similar to that experienced if one is suffering from a rotator cuff tear. Your arm may hurt both at rest and when in motion. Patients often describe pain from a shoulder impingement as being a dull ache or weakness in the arm. 

You may experience these symptoms if you are suffering from a shoulder impingement:

      • Pain from the side of the arm to the front of the shoulder
      • Stiffness 
      • Sudden pain when reaching upwards
      • Pain when resting

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Shoulder Impingement Treatment

When dealing with shoulder impingement, our doctors may recommend that you first try to manage the condition with a non-surgical treatment plan. If the issue persists, you may then be asked to go for surgery to alleviate the condition.

Non-Surgical
Non-surgical treatment of shoulder impingement includes a series of exercises that both improve posture and alleviate the impingement. Alternatively, our doctors may recommend steroid injections to help relieve the pain and swelling of shoulder impingement. However, you will still be required to perform the strengthening exercises.

Surgical 

In the case that neither the exercises nor the steroid injections are helping, and if the symptoms are causing problems with your daily activities such as dressing, washing and/or sleeping, it may be recommended that you have surgery. Surgery for shoulder impingement is called subacromial decompression.

This is a keyhole surgery that involves widening the space surrounding the rotator cuff tendon to prevent it from becoming impinged. 


What is Shoulder Impingement?

What is a Dislocated Shoulder?
CAUSES  |  SYMPTOMS  |  TREATMENT OPTIONS

A dislocated shoulder refers to an injury where your humerus (upper arm bone) pops out of the cup-shaped socket, which is a part of your shoulder blade, where it sits. Should this happen, your joint may become unstable.

Additionally, you might find that once you’ve had a shoulder dislocation, you may be prone to dislocating it again.

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What Causes a Dislocated Shoulder?  

A number of factors can cause a dislocated shoulder. Typically, it would require a strong blow to the shoulder to shift the bones out of their rightful place. Alternatively, should you rotate your shoulder to the extreme, you may also push the ball of your humerus out of its socket, resulting in a dislocated shoulder. 

Due to the nature of the shoulder joint and its ability to move in various directions, you can dislocate your shoulder either backwards or forwards, downwards, and completely or partially. A partial dislocation refers to a dislocation where the humerus is part in and part out of its socket. 

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What are the Symptoms of a Dislocated Shoulder?

The symptoms related to a dislocated shoulder often include a visibly displaced shoulder and an intense feeling of pain. 

You may experience these symptoms if you are suffering from a dislocated shoulder: 

      • Intense pain
      • Arm feels weak
      • Numbness/tingling reaches down the arm or up the neck
      • Shoulder Spasms
      • Shoulder looks out of place

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Dislocated Shoulder Treatment

There are several available treatment plans available should you dislocate your shoulder. There are both surgical and non-surgical options that our doctors will recommend based on your specific case.

Non-Surgical

Most often, doctors will attempt a closed reduction. This is where the shoulder is manoeuvred gently back into place. You may be prescribed some muscle relaxants or a sedative depending on your level of pain. 

Alternatively, our doctors may recommend that your arm be placed in a sling or a splint to immobilise the shoulder and allow it to rest. Once you can remove the sling or splint, you typically will need some rehabilitation to regain strength in the shoulder and to reduce the chance of re-dislocating it.

 

Surgical 

In the case that your shoulder labrum (shoulder joint’s socket lip) is torn and your joint is weakened, your sport or working demands may put you at a high risk of dislocating your shoulder again. You may also re-dislocate your shoulder if you have broken part of the shoulder socket.

In these cases, surgery may be recommended to treat a dislocated shoulder. During surgery, our doctors can repair the torn labrum. 

This is commonly done via arthroscopic (keyhole surgery) shoulder stabilisation, where the torn labrum can be repaired.


What is a SLAP Tear?

What is a SLAP Tear?
CAUSES  |  SYMPTOMS  |  TREATMENT OPTIONS

A Superior Labrum Anterior Posterior Tear (a SLAP Tear) refers to the damage of the top part of the labrum in your shoulder. Your labrum is a cup-shaped rim of fibrous tissue that helps to cushion the shoulder joint’s socket. It is responsible for stabilising the shoulder. The superior labrum is the part that is attached to your biceps’ tendon.

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What Causes a SLAP Tear?

SLAP tears are often the result of repetitive use of the shoulder. Through repetitive overhead use, the labrum may fray or detach. This is why athletes are more likely to suffer from SLAP tears.

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What are the Symptoms of a SLAP Tear?

If you are suffering from a SLAP tear, it is common to feel a deep pain within the shoulder. Additionally, patients often complain of weakness in the arm.

If you are suffering from a SLAP tear, you may experience these symptoms:

      • Deep, aching pain
      • Painful Clicking, Grinding, popping or locking sensation during rotational movement
      • Decreased shoulder strength
      • Limited range of motion

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SLAP Tear Treatment

Similar to the other shoulder conditions mentioned above, there are both surgical and non-surgical treatment plans available for a SLAP Tear.

Non-Surgical

Non-surgical treatment of a SLAP tear includes anti-inflammatory drugs that will help with the pain and swelling of the injury. Additionally, you will be given a range of strengthening exercises to perform that should both restore your range of motion and strengthen the shoulder.  

 

Surgical 

A surgical treatment plan for a SLAP tear repair is done arthroscopically, this is also referred to as keyhole surgery. During surgery, the torn part of the labrum is either removed entirely or reattached with stitches. Our doctors will determine which course of surgery is best for you.


What is a Frozen Shoulder?

What is a Frozen Shoulder?
CAUSES  |  SYMPTOMS  |  TREATMENT OPTIONS

Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a common cause of shoulder pain and stiffness that commonly affects patients above the age of 40. A thin capsule usually covers the shoulder joint. When this capsule gets inflamed, it causes pain, and the shoulder becomes stiff. This usually resolves with time.

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What Causes a Frozen Shoulder?

As mentioned above, the shoulder joint is covered by a thin capsule of connective tissue. When this connective tissue tightens and thickens, it restricts the movement of your shoulder. This is what causes a frozen shoulder.

Most commonly, frozen shoulder is a secondary result of underlying shoulder injuries such as shoulder impingement, rotator cuff injury, shoulder dislocation, or SLAP tear.

Frozen shoulder also tends to occur in people who have recently suffered a shoulder fracture or in cases where the arm has had to be immobilised.

Additionally, frozen shoulder is also seen in patients with hormonal problems like diabetes and thyroid issues, heart problems like heart attack and neurological problems like stroke.

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What are the Symptoms of a Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder tends to develop in stages – freezing, frozen, and thawing. It starts with a pain that is felt when you move your arm, develops into stiffness, and then slowly, your range of movement should improve.

If you are suffering from a frozen shoulder, you may experience these symptoms:

  • Stiffness or a dull ache and pain
  • Pain has lasted months
  • Pain reaching the upper arm

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Frozen Shoulder Treatment

Typically, treatment plans for a frozen shoulder are non-surgical. Doctors will usually recommend a non-surgical treatment plan to alleviate a frozen shoulder. However, in a small percentage of cases, you may require surgery.

Non-Surgical

Non-surgical treatment of a frozen shoulder may involve the injection of corticosteroids that help reduce the inflammation. You may also be prescribed numbing medications to ease the pain of a frozen shoulder. A range of exercises that help with your range of movement may also be recommended.  

 

Surgical 

Surgery to treat a frozen shoulder is done arthroscopically. During surgery, the inflamed and thickened joint capsule is cut to allow you to move your shoulder freely. Often, other shoulder problems like impingement or rotator cuff tears that have resulted in the frozen shoulder will be addressed during the surgery.


What is Shoulder Arthritis?

What is Shoulder Arthritis?
CAUSES  |  SYMPTOMS  |  TREATMENT OPTIONS

Shoulder arthritis refers to damage to the cartilage in the shoulder joints. It occurs when the cartilage starts wearing down on the ball and socket of the shoulder joint, causing pain.

There are various treatment options for arthritis in the shoulder, such as medication, lifestyle changes (such as daily activities or exercise) or physiotherapy. However, if your condition worsens, surgery might be recommended.

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What Causes Shoulder Arthritis?

Shoulder arthritis is the result of the general wear and tear of the cartilage present in your shoulder joint. The cartilage covers the surface of the bones in your joints and allows the bones to glide smoothly over each other when the joints move. As the cartilage begins to break down, the exposed bone may rub against each other and cause you to feel pain.

The cartilage tends to break down when faced with stress. Therefore, more painful and stressful activities are likely to break down the cartilage more.

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What are the Symptoms of Shoulder Arthritis

Since the breakdown and loss of cartilage differs in patients, the symptoms also vary. However, patients who suffer from shoulder arthritis generally complain of longstanding pain and stiffness in the joint, and weakness in the arm.

If you suffer from shoulder arthritis, you may experience these symptoms:

  • Pain in the shoulder joint
  • A weakness of the shoulder
  • Swelling or tenderness at the joint
  • A feeling of grinding within the joint
  • Pain that has lasted months/years

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Shoulder Arthritis Treatment

Our doctors will typically recommend non-surgical treatment options if you suffer from shoulder arthritis. However, if non-surgical options show little to no signs of improvement, surgery may be required to improve your condition.

Non-Surgical

As with many of the other shoulder conditions, non-surgical treatment often involves range-of-motion exercises to strengthen the shoulder, steroid injections to reduce inflammation, and medication to ease the pain.

However, with the treatment of shoulder arthritis, you may also be told to use ice or heat to alleviate the pain. Speak to our doctors for more information about using cold or hot packs to ease shoulder arthritis pain.

 

Surgical 

In the case that non-surgical treatment options are unable to treat shoulder arthritis effectively, surgery may be recommended. Depending on how far along your shoulder arthritis is, our doctors may either recommend shoulder debridement surgery or a shoulder replacement surgery.

Shoulder debridement surgery is usually recommended for less advanced stages of shoulder arthritis, while a shoulder replacement may be needed in more severe cases.

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