DR. ONG KEE LEONG

Rotator Cuff Specialist in Singapore

There are several treatment options for rotator cuff injuries. Dr. Ong will first assess your symptoms and pain in detail before customizing a treatment plan for you. It is advisable to seek medical advice early to prevent the injury from worsening and avoid further complications.

Book Appointment
DR. ONG KEE LEONG

Rotator Cuff Specialist in Singapore

There are several treatment options for rotator cuff injuries. Dr. Ong will first assess your symptoms and pain in detail before customizing a treatment plan for you. It is advisable to seek medical advice early to prevent the injury from worsening and avoid further complications.

Book Appointment

Injuries are especially common amongst people who:

  • Are over the age of 40
  • Are athletes such as bodybuilders, basketball, and tennis players
  • Are manual labourers such as painters and carpenters
  • Perform a lot of repetitive arm motions, often overhead
  • Have a family history of rotator cuff injuries
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What Is The Rotator Cuff?

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround your shoulder joint. Every time you move your shoulder, you are using your rotator cuff to help stabilize and move the joint.

Unfortunately, the rotator cuff is prone to injuries. The most common injuries are strains, tendonitis, and bursitis.

FAQs About Rotator Cuff Treatment in Singapore

What Can I Expect At My First Visit With Dr. Ong?

At your first appointment with Dr. Ong, he will evaluate your medical history and the pain you are experiencing.

Depending on the symptoms you have, he will likely perform diagnostic imaging tests (e.g. X-Rays or MRI scans) to assess your condition accurately. X-rays and CT scans are useful to rule out bone problems, whilst an MRI scan is excellent for looking at soft tissue (e.g. tendons, ligaments, and cartilage) problems.

After assessing your condition, Dr. Ong will recommend a personalized treatment plan that is specific to your needs. This may include surgical or non-surgical treatment options.

What Happens After Surgery?

Post-surgical care is crucial in ensuring speedy and complete recovery in your shoulder. It is important to follow all instructions your doctor gives you.

Some important instructions you should be aware of include:

  • Take your medication as instructed
  • Wear the arm sling as instructed for at least 6 weeks following your surgery
  • Ice your shoulder frequently, especially during the first week following the surgery
  • Do physical therapy exercises as instructed. These exercises aim to promote strength in your shoulder and help recover the full range of motion in your shoulder

What Is The Recovery Time After Surgery?

The recovery from a rotator cuff surgery generally takes about 4 to 6 months, depending on the size and severity of the tear.

Rehabilitation is the most important part of post-surgery recovery. Physical therapy will help you regain strength in your shoulder and recover the full range of motion in your shoulder in the shortest time possible.

Are There Any Risks And Complications Of Rotator Cuff Repair Surgery?

Most patients recover completely after surgery. However, as with any surgical procedure, there are risks and complications involved.

Some possible complications associated with a rotator cuff repair surgery include:

  • Complications to adjacent nerves and blood vessels
  • Infection at the surgical site
  • Shoulder stiffness, which will usually resolve itself in due time

It is also possible to re-injure your repairs. The risk of retears increases along with the original size of the torn rotator cuff. Therefore, you should always take precautions and minimize overexertion in your shoulder.

Can I Claim My Treatments Through My Medisave Account? (For Singaporeans and PR)

Yes, you can. Our Clinic is an accredited day surgery clinic by the Ministry of Health. Singaporeans and Permanent Residents may use their Medisave for consultations, eligible orthopaedic procedures, and medications at our clinic.

The exact amount would depend on the complexity of the procedure. If you have any enquiries, feel free to speak to our friendly clinic staff about using your Medisave account.

Medisave & Insurance Shield Plan Approved

For Singaporeans & Singapore Permanent Residents

Certain Orthopaedic procedures are claimable under Medisave, and the exact amount would depend on the complexity of the procedure. For other cases, please speak to our friendly clinic staff about using your insurance plan or Integrated Shield Plan.

What Are The Symptoms Of A Rotator Cuff Injury?

Rotator cuff injuries may not necessarily be painful, but may cause weakness in your arm alongside other symptoms.

Common symptoms of a rotator cuff injury include:

  • Difficulty in lifting or rotating your arm
  • A dull ache when you attempt to move your arm in a particular direction
  • Pain when at rest and at night, especially when you sleep on your affected shoulder
  • Clicking or popping when you perform certain shoulder movements

These symptoms should not be taken lightly as they could result in more serious conditions like frozen shoulder or arthritis if left untreated. An experienced shoulder specialist will assess your symptoms in detail before designing a treatment plan specific to your condition.

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What Are The Types Of Rotator Cuff Injuries?

Rotator cuff injuries can be acute (resulting from a one-time traumatic event) or chronic (resulting from the overuse or impingement of the rotator cuff over time). These include:

General wear and tear

As you get older or participate in activities that involve repetitive motions, the general wear and tear on your shoulder can cause a rotator cuff injury.

Tendonitis

Tendonitis is the inflammation of the tendons in your rotator cuff resulting from overuse or overload. This condition is common in athletes who participate in overhead sports such as swimming, tennis, and volleyball.

Bursitis

Bursitis is the inflammation or irritation of the fluid-filled sac (bursa) between your shoulder joint and rotator cuff tendons. It can occur when you repeat the same movement frequently such as lifting something over your head or throwing a baseball.

Tendon strain or tear

A partial or full tear can occur in your tendon during an abrupt injury or because of repetitive motion. Untreated tendonitis can also result in a tendon tear. A rotator cuff tear causes pain, weakness, and the inability to move the arm freely in its full range of motion.

Shoulder impingement

Shoulder impingement occurs when the rotator cuff rubs against the bones in your shoulder. As your tendons become injured and start swelling, you may experience persistent pain. Left untreated, shoulder impingement can lead to rotator cuff tears.

Why Do Patients Choose Dr Ong Kee Leong?

  • Dr. Ong Is Passionate In Sports, Giving Him A Deep Understanding Of Sports-Related Injuries And How They Can Be Treated
  • Personalised And Professional Approach To Deliver High-Quality Orthopaedic Care Based On The Most Up-To-Date Literature
  • Detailed Aftercare Plan To Ensure Smooth, Long-Term Recovery
  • Fellowship Trained Surgeon With 15 Years Of Experience In Orthopaedic Conditions
  • Problem-Oriented, Well-Organised and Individualized Treatment Plans Catered To Your Specific Needs
  • Specialist In The Management Of Sports Injuries And Degenerative Conditions Of The Shoulder And Knee Joints
  • Knowledgeable And Pleasant Clinical Staff To Assist You With Your Every Need Detailed Aftercare Plan To Ensure
  • Our Care Is Conveniently Accessible At Mount Elizabeth Novena and Farrer Park Hospital
  • Minimal Waiting Time For Initial Consultation
  • Assistance With Medical Claims (e.g. Medisave & Integrated Shield Plans)

“At our clinic, we generally try to explore non-surgical treatment such as activities modification, physiotherapy and orthotics before recommending invasive intervention options.”

Dr. Ong Kee Leong

Why Choose Us

  • Fellowship Trained Orthopaedic Surgeon

    Dr. Ong is fellowship trained with 15 years of experience in orthopaedic conditions, with a subspecialty in the management of sports injuries and degenerative conditions of the shoulder and knee joints. Dr. Ong uses a personal and professional approach to deliver high-quality care, based on the most up-to-date medical literature.

  • Passionate About Sports Medicine

    Dr. Ong Is Passionate In Sports, Giving Him A Deep Understanding Of Sports-Related Injuries And How They Can Be Treated

  • Advanced Treatments

    Our treatment plans are problem-oriented, well organised and personalised, catering to each of your specific needs. We are also committed to seeing you through to recovery, where individualized aftercare plans are designed to ensure a smooth and long-term recovery.

  • Fast Recovery

    Our individualized treatment plans are designed to treat the cause of your injury quickly. We are passionate about getting you back in the game, and staying in the game. Our team is fully committed to returning you to the life and activities you love.

About Dr. Ong Kee Leong

Senior Consultant, MBBS (Singapore), MMed (Ortho), FRCSEd (Ortho)

Dr. Ong Kee Leong is a fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeon. He subspecializes in shoulder and knee, foot and ankle, hand wrist and elbow surgeries, arthroscopic sports surgery, and the management of sports-related injuries.

He has been registered with the Singapore Medical Council as a specialist in Orthopaedic Surgery since 2011.

  • MBBS, National University of Singapore (NUS) Faculty of Medicine 2001
  • Member of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh 2007
  • Master of Medicine in Orthopaedic Surgery (NUS) 2007
  • Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in Orthopaedic Surgery 2011
  • Health Manpower Development Plan (HMDP) Scholarship, Ministry of Health 2012-2013:
  • Sports Surgery and Arthroscopy in Germany (Hannover)
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Lee Kong Chian School Of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University
  • Senior Clinical Lecturer, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, NUS
Awards & Teaching
  • Dr. Ong had received numerous awards such as Best Service and Eastern Health Alliance Caring (Gold) Awards.
  • He also has an interest in clinical research and has written papers in multiple peer-review journals. As a Core Faculty of Singhealth Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Program, he oversees the training of junior orthopaedic surgeons.
  • Regularly invited to teach local and regional surgeons in Shoulder and Knee Surgery Courses.
  • He is a recipient of multiple teaching awards including the Singhealth Residency Outstanding Faculty Awards from 2014-2016 and Changi General Hospital Outstanding Educator Awards 2015-2016.

Treatments For Rotator Cuff Injuries in Singapore

Rotator cuff injuries can be acute (resulting from a one-time traumatic event) or chronic (resulting from the overuse or impingement of the rotator cuff over time). These include:

Non-Surgical Treatments For Rotator Cuff Injuries in Singapore

The first phase of treatment is often conservative and non-surgical. In most cases, patients see significant improvements with non-surgical treatment options.

Anti-inflammatory Oral Medications

When the rotator cuff becomes damaged, the first line of treatment is to take anti-inflammatory oral medications and pain relievers to help ease your discomfort as you recover.

It is also beneficial to ice and rest the shoulder joint. The ice can help subside the swelling in your rotator cuff. It is also important to avoid too much movement as it could aggravate the injury.

Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy is the treatment of injury and disease using non-invasive techniques. It focuses on improving your ability to move and function without pain, hence enhancing your quality of life.

Rotator cuff exercises performed during physiotherapy sessions aid in the strengthening of your shoulder muscles. As you build strength in your shoulder muscles, pain can be reduced and your shoulder function can be improved. It also helps to reduce the likelihood of future injuries.

Surgical Options For Rotator Cuff Injuries in Singapore

If your symptoms do not improve with physiotherapy and other conservative methods, you may need to consider surgical options to treat your rotator cuff injury.

There are 3 surgical techniques commonly used to repair torn rotator cuffs: open surgery, arthroscopic surgery, and mini-open surgery. Dr. Ong will assess your symptoms in detail before recommending the right surgical option for your injury.

Open Rotator Cuff Repair Surgery

This form of surgery is generally recommended for patients with large and complex tears. It is also required if patients need reconstruction procedures.

How does the open rotator cuff repair work?
An open rotator cuff surgery requires the surgeon to draw an incision that is several centimeters long. This step is necessary for the surgeon to move a large shoulder muscle out of the way in order to repair the torn tendon.

Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair Surgery

An arthroscopic repair is often performed for patients who suffer from a torn rotator cuff of smaller than 3 centimeters in length. It is the least invasive procedure among the 3 options.

How does the arthroscopic rotator cuff repair work?
During the operation, your surgeon will insert an arthroscope along with other surgical instruments via multiple small incisions.

The surgery involves different incisions that are less than 1 centimeter each, translating to a faster recovery with minimal pain and reduced risk of complications.

Mini-Open Rotator Cuff Repair Surgery

This technique involves a combination of arthroscopic and open surgery. It is highly suitable for patients who have more than one torn rotator cuff tendon. Compared to open repair surgery, the mini-open operation is considered less invasive where the incision is approximately 3 to 5 centimeters long.

How does the mini-open rotator cuff repair work?

The first part of this procedure uses an arthroscope to gauge the severity of the injury, cut away existing bone spurs, and remove any loose cartilage. After this, your surgeon will make a mini-open incision for direct visual assessment to repair the torn rotator cuff.

Have an enquiry about your condition or a certain treatment?

Fill up the form and we will get back to you soon!

Make An Enquiry

    Prefer to talk? Call our clinic directly to make an enquiry at (65) 6884 6788

    or Whatsapp us at (65) 9652 5022

    We are available 24 hours

    our clinics

    Visit Us Today

    Mt Elizabeth Novena
    Farrer Park Hospital

    Your Treatment Roadmap With Dr. Ong Kee Leong

    Registration

    Our friendly clinical staff will assist you with your registration, ensuring an efficient and hassle-free process for you.

    Specialist Consultation

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

    Diagnosis Of Your Condition

    Dr. Ong will likely perform some form of diagnostic imaging (e.g. X-Rays or MRI scans) to assess your condition accurately.

    Treatment For Your Condition

    After imaging, Dr. Ong will review the results of your scans thoroughly with you, and advise an individualised treatment plan just for you.

    Follow Up Visits With Dr Ong

    As you go through your treatment plan, Dr. Ong will follow up with you every step of the way, ensuring that you receive the dedicated care you deserve.

    Book Appointment

    "Moving your body the way nature intended is a freedom not well appreciated until it is lost. We are passionate about getting you back in the game, and staying in the game. Our team is fully committed to returning you to the life and activities you love."

    Dr. Ong Kee Leong

    Have an enquiry about your condition or a certain treatment?

    Fill up the form and we will get back to you soon!

    Make An Enquiry

      Prefer to talk? Call our clinic directly to make an enquiry at (65) 6884 6788

      or Whatsapp us at (65) 9652 5022

      We are available 24 hours

      our clinics

      Visit Us Today

      Mt Elizabeth Novena
      Farrer Park Hospital
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