Acromioclavicular Joint Arthritis Specialist Singapore

Dr. Bryan Tan

MBBS (Singapore)

MMed (Ortho)

FRCS Ed (Orth)

AC joint arthritis develops when the cartilage in the AC joint begins to wear out, resulting in pain and joint stiffness. It is vital to understand your symptoms and seek medical treatment as soon as possible, as early diagnosis and management can reduce the complications of acromioclavicular arthritis.

Dr. Bryan Tan

Orthopaedic Surgeon
Sports have always played a big part in Dr Bryan’s life. His interest in sports and varied sporting activities give him a deep understanding of sports injuries and the mindset of an athlete.
The condition often develops gradually over time and is difficult to detect. This painful condition affects 2-5% of the general population.

Dr Bryan Tan is a fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeon, based in Singapore. He completed 2 fellowships in Orthopaedic Sports, Shoulder and Elbow Surgery in Sydney, Australia and Nice, France. Prior to private practice, Dr Bryan was a consultant in the Division of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery in National University Hospital (NUH), Singapore. He is currently still a visiting consultant at NUH where he actively teaches medical students and young orthopaedic surgical trainees. In addition, he travels to regional countries to teach advanced arthroscopic surgical techniques.

    • MBBS(Singapore)

    • MMed (Ortho)

    • FRCS Ed(Orth)

Dr. Bryan has a special interest in keyhole surgery and performs most of his surgeries using advanced, modern keyhole surgical techniques. He regularly visits fellow surgeons from other countries to ensure his skills and knowledge are cutting edge.

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What Is Acromioclavicular Joint Arthritis?

The acromioclavicular (AC) joint is located at the top tip of the shoulder, where a the part of the shoulder blade (acromionscapula) and the collarbone (clavicle) meet.

AC joint arthritis develops when the cartilage in the AC joint begins to wear out, resulting in pain and joint stiffness.

What Are the Symptoms Of Acromioclavicular Joint Arthritis?

Common symptoms of acromioclavicular joint arthritis include:

  • Pain at the AC joint, aggravated by movements of the arm
  • Swelling over the AC joint
  • Loss of range of motion of the shoulder
  • Clicking, snapping or popping sensation
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How Is Acromioclavicular Joint Arthritis Treated?

Non-Surgical Treatment

Common treatment methods include:

  • Taking oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Physical therapy
  • Warm compression to minimise pain
  • Rest
  • Activity modification by avoiding certain activities and exercises that may aggravate the acromioclavicular joint

Surgical Treatment

Surgery may be recommended if your symptoms worsen or if non-surgical treatment options are ineffective.

Resection arthroplasty is the most common surgery for acromioclavicular (AC) joint arthritis. For this surgical procedure, your doctor will remove a small amount of bone from the end of your collarbone to prevent the clavicle and the acromion from rubbing against each other during shoulder movements.

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How Is Acromioclavicular Joint Arthritis Diagnosed?

Your doctor will physically examine your AC joint to check for tenderness, pain or signs of muscle weakness. He will also assess movements of your shoulder, specifically looking for limitations caused by AC joint arthritis.

Additional diagnostic tests may also be performed to obtain further information on the AC joint or to rule out other possible problems:

Injection of a local anaesthetic

A local anaesthetic such as lidocaine may be directly injected into the painful joint. Diagnosis of AC joint arthritis is likely confirmed if the pain is relieved temporarily.


X-rays can reveal narrowing of the AC joint or the presence of bone spurs.

MRI scans

MRI scans provide more detailed images of the shoulder joints to show signs of inflammation and swelling.

What Causes Acromioclavicular Joint Arthritis?

The common causes of acromioclavicular joint arthritis are:

  • Joint trauma or injury
  • Age
  • Years of manual labour
What’s the first step?

Your Treatment Roadmap with Dr. Bryan

step 1

Book An Appointment
With Dr. Bryan

Our friendly clinic staff will assist you with your registration, ensuring an efficient and hassle-free process for you. Fill up this form to schedule an appointment with Dr. Bryan.

step 2

Initial Consultation & Diagnosis of your Condition

During your consultation, Dr. Bryan will evaluate your medical history and the pain you are experiencing. You may also ask Dr. Bryan any questions you may have about your condition.

step 3

Treatment & Follow Up Visits With Dr. Bryan

After your consultation with Dr. Bryan, our friendly clinic staff will assist you with your follow-up appointment, and provide you with instructions/information for any prescribed treatment plans from Dr. Bryan.

Frequently Asked

Is acromioclavicular joint arthritis serious? When should I visit a doctor?

While acromioclavicular joint arthritis is not life-threatening, it can bring significant pain and discomfort.

You should seek proper medical treatment if your symptoms persist for an extended period of time or if they impede your daily activities.

Can acromioclavicular joint arthritis be prevented?

Unfortunately, in most cases, acromioclavicular joint arthritis cannot be prevented.

Take the First Step

Book An Appointment

Leave us a few details and Dr. Bryan will get back to you shortly.





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    38 Irrawaddy Road, #10-41
    Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
    Singapore 329563


    1 Farrer Park Station Road,
    #15-17 Connexion
    Singapore 217562