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Shoulder Instability

While shoulder instability can greatly disrupt everyday activities and cause immense pain, it can be effectively managed with professional and proper treatment. Speak with Dr. Ong to learn how he can help with your shoulder condition.

Book Appointment

Shoulder Instability

While shoulder instability can greatly disrupt everyday activities and cause immense pain, it can be effectively managed with professional and proper treatment. Speak with Dr. Ong to learn how he can help with your shoulder condition.

Book Appointment

What Is Shoulder Instability?

Shoulder instability is the separation of the head of the upper arm bone (humerus) from the cup-shaped shoulder socket (glenoid) in the shoulder blade (scapula). This separation may be partial and temporary (subluxation) or complete and permanent dislocation.

If left untreated, shoulder instability can lead to other issues such as rotator cuff tears, fractures or cartilage damages.

How Is Shoulder Instability Diagnosed?

Your shoulder specialist will conduct a physical examination to test your shoulder and arm’s range of motion and check for any signs of tenderness and swelling.

Imaging tests such as an x-ray may be performed to show and detect any other possible causes of instability and pain, such as a fracture. Additionally, an MRI scan may be conducted to evaluate your shoulder further by showing detailed images of your shoulder tendons and ligaments.

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Symptoms of Shoulder Instability

  • Sharp pain in your shoulders
  • Inability to move or rotate your shoulders
  • A popping or snapping sensation
  • Swelling
  • A feeling that the shoulder may give way

How Can Shoulder Instability Be Treated?

Non-Surgical Treatment

Non-surgical treatment methods are usually recommended for the initial treatment of shoulder instability.

These methods may include:

  • Physical therapy. Dr. Ong may recommend an exercise regime that consists of simple stretching and strengthening activities to regain lost motion and strength of the shoulders.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen can help alleviate pain and swelling.

Surgical Treatment

Surgery is typically recommended only if physical therapy is insufficient in treating shoulder instability.

The different types of surgery include:

  • Arthroscopy. This minimally invasive surgical technique involves creating small incisions in the shoulder and inserting a tiny fiberoptic scope and surgical instruments to repair soft tissues.
  • Open surgery. This traditional surgical method involves a larger incision in the shoulder, and the repair surgery is performed under direct visualisation.
  • Open labral repair. This procedure is performed by creating small incisions on the front of the shoulder. The torn labrum (a type of cartilage in the shoulder joint) is repaired, and the dislocated anterior shoulder capsule is overlapped to minimise its size.

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

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.

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    Billing & Payment

    Consultation fees are charged based on length of consultation, and start from SGD$150 (within 30 minutes).

    Modes of Payment

    We accept the following modes of payment:

    • Cash
    • PayNow & PayLah
    • All major Credit Cards

    If you are insured and would like to use a Letter of Guarantee (LOG) from the major insurers in Singapore, please contact us and our friendly clinic staff will assist you and provide more information if required.

    Can I Claim 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 eligible orthopaedic inpatient procedures and hospitalizations.

    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.

    Integrated Shield Plans (Singaporeans and PRs)

    Yes, patients who have purchased Integrated Shield plans with riders for co-insurance and deductibles will be able to use them in our clinic for eligible procedures. For more information, contact us to find out if your procedure is claimable.

    The 6 Approved Integrated Shield Insurers are:

    • NTUC Income’s IncomeShield and Enhanced IncomeShield
    • American International Assurance International Co’s (AIA) HealthShield Gold
    • Great Eastern Life Assurance Co’s SupremeHealth and SupremeHealth Plus
    • Aviva Ltd’s MyShield
    • Prudential Assurance Co’s PRUShield
    • AXA Shield
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