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Shoulder & Upper Limb Conditions

Shoulder Injury Singapore

The upper limb is made up of three main regions, which are the arm, which is located between the shoulder and the elbow; the forearm, situated between the elbow and wrist joints; and the hand, which is located away from the wrist. This body part is composed of 30 bones that enable us to move our arms and hands to accomplish a wide variety of tasks.

Meanwhile, the shoulder is primarily composed of three bones, which are the scapula (shoulder blade), the clavicle (collarbone), and the humerus (upper arm bone). Given that the upper limb and shoulder are among the most used parts of the body, it’s no wonder that both are susceptible to accidents and injuries, natural wear and tear, and other conditions.

What are the Common Shoulder Injuries and Upper Limb Conditions?

When performing various tasks and engaging in physical activities and sports, there is a risk of injuring or overusing body parts, which can lead to various shoulder and upper limb conditions.

Some of the most common upper limb conditions and shoulder injuries in Singapore are:

  • Frozen shoulder: Frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis is characterised by stiffness and pain in the shoulder. Aside from pain, symptoms include numbness in the shoulder area and limited shoulder movements. Treatment can range from medication and rest to physiotherapy and frozen shoulder surgery.

  • Anterior shoulder dislocation: This is usually caused by external rotation and extension or forced abduction of the joint. Symptoms are intense pain, difficulty moving the shoulder joint, and a visibly deformed shoulder. Dislocated shoulder treatment in Singapore includes medicines to relieve the pain, splint to protect the joint, and physiotherapy or surgery to restore movement and function of the shoulder.

  • Posterior shoulder dislocation: This condition occurs as a result of an external blow to the front of the shoulder or onto an internally rotated or outstretched arm. When this happens, the head of the humerus is posteriorly pushed out of the glenoid cavity. Symptoms of posterior shoulder dislocation are intense pain in the shoulder joint and rapid swelling.

  • Clavicle (collarbone) fractures: When the collarbone breaks, a clavicle fracture occurs. This is usually a result of a bad fall or direct blow to the shoulder or an outstretched arm, causing the bone to snap or break. Symptoms include visible deformity, inability to lift the arm, pain, swelling, or a sagging shoulder.

  • Humerus (upper armbone) fractures: The humerus is the upper arm bone that runs from the shoulder and scapula to the elbow. It can break or develop a fracture as a result of an accident or intense fall. Bruising, swelling, pain, and difficulty moving the shoulder are some of its symptoms.

  • Shoulder instability: Allowing a range of motion, the shoulder joint can lose its stability when it’s not able to slide around in the socket or becomes loose. This condition is referred to as shoulder instability. Symptoms include a feeling that the ball of the shoulder joint has popped out from its socket, and limited movements of the arm and shoulder.

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome: Also known as median nerve compression, carpal tunnel syndrome causes pain, tingling, and numbness in the hand and forearm. Weakness and loss of sensation in the fingers can be the most apparent symptoms of this condition.

  • Ulnar nerve impingement: The ulnar nerve is responsible for transmitting electrical signals to the muscles in the hand and forearm. When this becomes compressed or irritated, ulnar nerve entrapment occurs. Individuals who have developed this are more sensitive to the cold and may experience weakness in the hand, as well as tingling in the fourth and fifth fingers.

  • Tennis elbow: This injury typically happens when the tendons become overloaded due to constant and repetitive motions. Symptoms can include weakness in the grip or pain in the outer part of the elbow.

  • Trigger finger: When an individual’s finger or thumb gets stuck in a bent position, this is called a trigger finger. A popping or snapping sound coupled with stiffness is the most common symptom of this condition.

  • Wrist tendinitis: This refers to the condition in which the tendons that connect the forearm to the hand become inflamed. This can result in pain and tenderness when making a fist, lifting an object, or doing any wrist movements.

What are the Treatment Options Available for Shoulder Pain Injury?

Upper limb and shoulder injury treatments in Singapore include:

  • Physiotherapy: This includes specific exercises that can rehabilitate, improve, and repair musculoskeletal damages, as well as relieve pain and discomfort.

  • Splinting: Some patients may need to wear splints and other protective devices to lessen swelling, bring back strength, coordination, and function of the damaged or injured body part.

  • Surgery: One type of shoulder surgery in Singapore is done to treat frozen shoulder, which involves either removing scar tissue from around the shoulder joint, or stretching and releasing the stiff joint.

  • Rest: Mild shoulder problems can often get better on their own with sufficient rest.

  • Steroid injection: Steroid injections can lessen pain and inflammation in the injured area.

  • Shoulder replacement surgery: This removes the damaged shoulder and replaces it with a new artificial one. The main function of a prosthesis is to emulate the natural and healthy movement of a natural joint.

  • Shoulder dislocation surgery: Some patients with a dislocated shoulder may undergo surgery wherein their torn or stretched tendons or ligaments are tightened. During this surgery, the surgeon will also repair damaged tissues and other parts.

The International Orthopaedic Clinic is experienced in the medical and surgical treatment of upper limb conditions and shoulder injuries. Schedule a consultation today by calling 6253 7111.