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Common Treatments for Rotator Cuff Injuries in Singapore

7th Feb 2022 | 0 comments

If you’re reading this, chances are that you’re looking to equip yourself with some knowledge about treating your rotator cuff injury in Singapore. As such, this article will cover some of the common treatments available for rotator cuff injury treatment in Singapore.

The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and their tendons that attach to the arm bone (humerus) and hold the head of the upper arm bone in the shoulder socket. These muscles and tendons help to keep the head of the upper arm bone centred in its socket, so it can move smoothly with little friction.

Injuries to this area are common, especially among people who have jobs that require repetitive overhead motions or those who participate in contact sports such as tennis or football. In many cases, a person will have a gradual onset of pain over time. In some cases, there may be an acute injury with sudden onset of pain.

There are treatments for rotator cuff injuries depending on what type you have and how severe it is. The most common treatments for rotator cuff injuries in Singapore include rest, ice, compression, elevation, and anti-inflammatory drugs. These treatments are often used together with physical therapy and surgery.

Non-Surgical Treatments for Rotator Cuff Injuries in Singapore

Rotator cuff injuries don’t heal well with time; they either enlarge or stabilise in size. As such, non-surgical treatments are often recommended to relieve the symptoms of rotator cuff injuries. The following are the non-surgical treatment options available in Singapore:

  • The RICE method
  • Making lifestyle changes
  • Taking anti-inflammatory medications
  • Opting for steroid injections
  • Going for physical therapy

1. The RICE Method

The RICE method, which is short for rest, ice, compression, and elevation, can help to reduce the pain and swelling following a rotator cuff injury. Hence, you should get enough rest, ice your injury, compress the injury, and elevate your affected shoulder to reduce the pain and swelling. This is usually the first line of home treatment.

2. Making Lifestyle Changes

If you’re someone whose rotator cuff injury is caused by a sports activity or jobs that involve repetitive overhead motion, you will likely need to make some changes to your lifestyle. After all, your shoulder will thank you for it. If the symptoms of your rotator cuff injury persist, consult your doctor for an alternative treatment.

3. Taking anti-inflammatory Medications

Anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen or naproxen can help relieve the symptoms of your rotator cuff injury. However, these medications should be taken with care if you have underlying stomach or kidney problems. Make sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist to determine the safety of your OTC medications.

4. Opting for Steroid Injections

Should the treatments above fail to relieve the symptoms of your rotator cuff injury, your doctor may recommend opting for a steroid injection. This is especially if the pain is interfering with your sleep and daily activities. However, steroid injections should be used judiciously as they can weaken the tendon and affect the success of your surgery if needed in the future.

5. Going for Physical Therapy

There are certain exercises that can help relieve the symptoms of your rotator cuff injury by restoring movement and strengthening your shoulder. Depending on your diagnosis, your physical therapy programme may include stretches to improve muscle flexibility and increase your shoulder’s range of motion. This will help prevent further injury.

Surgical Options for Rotator Cuff Injuries in Singapore

If the non-surgical treatments above don’t seem to be effective in relieving the symptoms of your rotator cuff injury, your doctor will likely recommend surgery. By opting for a rotator cuff surgery, your surgeon can repair your torn rotator cuff by removing the loose fragments and shaving down the acromion bone, which is located at the top of your shoulder.

As a result, this will provide the rotator cuff tendons with more space to move, relieving the pain while restoring function to your shoulder.

Having said that, the type of torn rotator cuff treatment surgery performed is usually based on the findings of your diagnosis. Some are done on an outpatient basis while some will require you to stay in the hospital. The following are the most common types of surgery performed for rotator cuff injuries in Singapore:

  • Arthroscopic repair – Your surgeon will make several small incisions in your skin to insert the arthroscope and special surgical tools into your shoulder. These will allow your surgeon to see which part of your rotator cuff is damaged and how best to fix them.

  • Open repair – This surgery is typically performed if you have a rotator cuff tear that’s very large or complex. Your surgeon will make a large incision in your shoulder and detach your shoulder muscle for direct access to your torn tendon. This is helpful if your tendon or shoulder joint needs to be replaced.

Both surgeries can be done under general anaesthesia, allowing you to sleep through the procedure. If you’re someone who’s fearless, you can opt for regional anaesthesia which allows you to stay awake during the procedure while your arm and shoulder remain numb.

What are the risks of rotator cuff surgery?

As with any surgery, rotator cuff surgery has its risks, including infection, nerve damage, and excessive bleeding. In rare cases, you may have allergic reactions to anaesthesia or suffer from breathing problems during the procedure. Make sure to discuss with your doctor if you have any concerns regarding your rotator cuff surgery.

In a nutshell, getting your rotator cuff injury treated in Singapore is one of the best options. This is because, at Spire Orthopaedic Centre, we believe that everyone should be cared for and healed holistically in comfort without having to travel to different locations to seek medical and surgical help and rehabilitation support.

With a combined facility for collaboration between physicians, physiotherapists, and surgeons, you will experience a seamless service from diagnosis to treatment and rehabilitation, that’s tailored just for you at our clinic.