Shoulder Arthritis Specialist Singapore

Dr. Bryan Tan


Shoulder arthritis is damage to the shoulder joint’s cartilage, resulting in the joint surfaces becoming rough and uneven. 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 shoulder arthritis.

What Is Shoulder Arthritis?

Shoulder arthritis is damage to the shoulder joint’s cartilage, resulting in the joint surfaces becoming rough and uneven.

Shoulder arthritis may affect the glenohumeral joint, which is the ball-and-socket joint of the shoulder, but more often affects the smaller acromioclavicular joint which sits above the glenohumeral joint.

What Causes Shoulder Arthritis?

The common causes of shoulder arthritis are:

  • Genetic predisposition
  • Age or wear and tear (Osteoarthritis)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune disease where the body’s defence system attacks the joint lining)
  • Torn rotator cuff
  • Previous Shoulder trauma or injury

What Are the Symptoms Of Shoulder Arthritis?

Common symptoms of shoulder arthritis include:

  • Pain
  • Joint stiffness
  • Loss of range of motion
  • Clicking or popping sensation

How Is Shoulder Arthritis Diagnosed?

Your doctor will likely perform a physical examination of your shoulder to check for shoulder mobility and strength.

In addition, the following imaging tests may also be conducted:

  • X-rays
  • CT scans (provide a more detailed image of the shoulder joints)
  • MRI (reveal surrounding soft tissues around the shoulder joints)

​​Is your shoulder pain affecting your quality of life, and your ability to perform everyday activities such as working, playing sports and wearing your clothes?

Dr. Tan will assess your symptoms in detail before recommending the right surgical option for your specific injury.

How Is Shoulder Arthritis Treated?

Common treatment methods include:

  • Rest
  • Warm compression to minimise pain
  • Taking pain relievers such as ibuprofen , naproxen or etoricoxib to reduce pain
  • Corticosteroids injections
  • Simple and gentle stretching exercises to slowly regain shoulder mobility and strength

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

Common surgical options include:

  • Arthroscopic shoulder debridement. In this surgery, your doctor will remove loose fragments of damaged shoulder joint cartilage by making small incisions in your shoulder.
  • Total shoulder replacement surgery. In this surgery, plastic and metal are used to replace the diseased sections of bones in your shoulder joint.
  • Reverse total shoulder replacement surgery. This procedure reverses the location of the ball and socket of the shoulder joints. This is fast becoming the procedure of choice, especially if the rotator cuff is damaged.
  • Resection arthroplasty. This is the most common surgery for arthritis in the acromioclavicular (AC) joint. 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is shoulder arthritis serious? When should I visit a doctor?
How to prevent shoulder arthritis?

Billing & Payment

Medisave & Insurance Claims

The following are accredited For Singaporeans, Singapore Permanent Residents and Foreigners. If your insurance is not listed, you will still be able to make claims for eligible procedures! We have experience processing claims from many other various insurance providers. Please contact us if you have any queries.


Embark on Your Road to Recovery With Dr Bryan Tan

OrthoSports: Dr. Bryan Tan's Clinic

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