Frozen Shoulder Treatment Singapore

Dr. Bryan Tan

MBBS (Singapore)

MMed (Ortho)

FRCS Ed (Orth)

Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is one of the most common shoulder problems seen in Dr. Bryan’s clinical practice. It is estimated to affect 2% – 5% of the general population, and 20% of patients with diabetes. Patients with this condition are often middle-aged or elderly. 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 frozen shoulder.

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 Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is inflammation and thickening of the covering of the shoulder joint, resulting in stiffness, pain, and limited range of movement in your shoulder. Frozen shoulder is more common in patients with diseases such as diabetes or heart problems, but nobody knows what really causes a frozen shoulder.

Frozen shoulders are estimated to affect 2% - 5% of the general population, and 20% of patients with diabetes. Patients with this condition are often middle-aged or elderly.

What Are the Symptoms of Frozen Shoulder?

Common symptoms of frozen shoulder include:

  • Dull or aching pain around the upper arm and shoulder
  • Limited shoulder mobility
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How Is Frozen Shoulder Treated?

Non-Surgical Treatment

Common treatment methods include:

  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers, such as aspirin, ibuprofen or etoricoxib, can help reduce pain and inflammation
  • Physical therapy
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Joint distension or injecting sterile water into the joint capsule to stretch and tear the tissue and improve mobility

Surgical Treatment

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

Some of the common surgical treatment options include:

  • Manipulation under anaesthesia. This procedure involves moving your shoulder joints in different directions to tear the tightened tissue, so as to increase the shoulder’s mobility. Shoulder manipulation is typically performed under general anaesthesia.
  • Surgery. Surgery for frozen shoulder rapidly relieves pain and restores shoulder mobility. Surgery is typically conducted arthroscopically, where your doctor will create 2 small incisions around your shoulder before inserting a camera into the shoulder joint, allowing the thickened capsule to be divided under direct vision. It is a very safe and effective treatment for frozen shoulders.
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How Is Frozen Shoulder Diagnosed?

Your doctor will physically examine your shoulders to check for symptoms such as pain or joint stiffness as well as test the shoulder’s range of motion and mobility.

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

  • X-rays can reveal problems in the shoulders, such as arthritis.
  • MRI scans provide more detailed images of the shoulder joints to help identify other problems, such as a torn rotator cuff.

What Causes Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder occurs when the capsule (covering of the shoulder joint) thickens and tightens, restricting the shoulder’s movement.

While the exact causes of frozen shoulder are unknown, the following factors and conditions are known to increase the risk of developing frozen shoulder:

  • Age (40 years and older)
  • Prolonged immobility of the shoulder
  • Rotator cuff injury
  • Recovery from surgery
  • Broken or fractured arm
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Tuberculosis
  • Stroke
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 frozen shoulder serious? When should I visit a doctor?

While frozen shoulder is not life-threatening, it can bring significant pain and result in severe loss of shoulder mobility if left untreated.

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

Can frozen shoulders be prevented?

Gentle stretching and progressive range-of-motion shoulder exercises can help prevent frozen shoulders, especially after surgery or an injury.

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