Sports Injuries Singapore

At Artisan Orthopaedics, we are experts in the rehabilitation of athletes. With treatments aimed at rehabilitation and strengthening, you can be assured that your performance is our personal mission.


Sports injuries are injuries incurred either during training, in a game, or overtime from wear and tear.

Sports injuries can affect any age group and may be devastating, especially to athletes. It is a common objective for athletic patients to seek quick recovery to return to their sports, many aspiring to recommence their sporting endeavour with the same or better agility after their hiatus. 

sports injury
Sports injury in Singapore.

Commonly injured body parts

Athletes of different sports are prone to different types of injury. This can be attributed to the overexertion of a specific body part (chronic) or simply an inciting event that leads to unexpected injuries (acute).

Whilst anyone can be affected by an orthopaedic condition, there are specific conditions that athletes are more prone to than others.

sports injury
Sports injuries can occur on any part of the body.

Below are some commonly injured body parts and the injuries one may incur: 



Elbow injuries are common among athletes of tennis, golf, baseball, badminton, climbers, skaters, cyclists, and weightlifters.


Foot & Ankle Injuries

Runners and athletes in basketball, football, volleyball, and hockey are prone to foot and ankle injuries.


Athletes of volleyball and water polo are prone to hand and wrist injuries.


Neck injuries tend to occur in high-contact sports such as rugby, football, and wrestling. 

Injuries include:


Hip injuries tend to occur among athletes of sports such as football and running. 


Back injuries tend to occur among weightlifters, footballers, and cyclists.

Types of sports injuries

Injuries can manifest in various forms, often accompanied by pain and discomfort. Some injuries may be palpable and evident while others more obscure. As injuries reduce athletic performance, it is vital that detection and accurate diagnosis is promptly executed. 

Below are the types of injuries that one may incur from sports activities:

  • Fractures: partial or complete breaks that materialise from the high-energy force. Any bone in the body is vulnerable to fractures and this is especially pertinent in high-contact sports. Fractures are often excruciatingly painful and come with visible signs such as broken skin with protruding bone (open fractures), swelling, and bleeding. 
  • Dislocations: a painful condition that can be debilitating. Dislocations are best explained as two bones detaching from each other at the joint. Dislocations tend to be accompanied by visible deformation of the body part in which injury is sustained. Dislocations can occur in the shoulder, elbow, and knee.
  • Subluxations: partial dislocations which come with more covert symptoms compared to complete dislocations. Apart from pain, one may hear “snaps'' or “crackles”, observe swelling, and feel instability in the affected area. Subluxations can occur in the elbow, and knee
  • Bursitis: a common overuse sports injury which tends to build up over time among athletes. Bursae aid in smooth movement as they act as cushions and allow ligaments to glide over the bones without friction. Bursitis is an inflammatory condition and can occur at the elbow, knee, shoulders, and hips
  • Nerve injuries: may manifest as impingement or neuritis (inflammation of nerve), and often is an outcome of delayed medical intervention. Whilst it may not cause severe levels of pain, symptoms such as numbness and tingling could cause discomfort and eventually lead to loss of control of body parts. Nerve injuries may occur in the shoulder, hand, and elbow.
  • Muscle injuries: most common forms of injuries in sports and can significantly reduce strength when injured. Examples of muscle injuries include pectoralis major rupture, stiff neck, and whiplash.
  • Tendon injuries: tendons are connective tissues attaching bones to muscle. Whilst they are resistant to strains, their inflexible nature leads to various sports-related injuries where improper or incorrect movement is involved. Examples of tendon injuries include tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, and shoulder tendonitis
  • Ligament injuries: ligaments are connective tissues attaching one bone to the other. Ligaments in general, do not have a good blood supply and this form of sports injury requires medical intervention to ensure recovery. Examples of ligament injuries include elbow ligament injuries, ACL injury, PCL injury, and acromioclavicular joint injury/shoulder separation.
  • Slipped discs: slipped discs tend to occur at the lower back and neck. It manifests as a “radiating” pain and one may feel discomfort throughout the body. Slipped discs can swiftly result in sensory loss and require prompt treatment to minimise damage. 

Symptoms of sports injury

Depending on the type of injury you have sustained, the symptoms you experience may vary — people experience symptoms like pain differently. It is also possible that some athletes experience no form of discomfort at all until conditions exacerbate. This may be attributed to athletes generally having high tolerance towards discomfort or perceiving pain as generalised muscle soreness. 

However, these are some symptoms signalling sports injuries that you should look out for:

  • Pain 
  • Tingling and numbness 
  • Discolouration either as bruising or redness  
  • Tenderness at the affected area 
  • Swelling 
  • Joints feeling “locked” or buckling away
  • Clumsiness in movement 
  • Weakness in joint 
  • Difficulty conducting specific movements like walking up the stairs or turning a doorknob
  • Gradual decrease in performance (such as running speed) 
  • Sounds like “pop”, “snaps”, and “crackle” during movements 
If you notice any of the symptoms, make an appointment with an orthopaedic specialist to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Dr Puah KL is our Senior Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Artisan Sports & Orthopaedic Surgery. He used to serve the sports service of Singapore General Hospital - the highest volume trauma centre for orthopaedics in Singapore.

Sports injury diagnosis in Singapore

There are a few diagnostic methods your orthopaedist may employ when attempting to identify a specific injury you have sustained. Below are some tests that would be carried out, not all tests would be necessarily conducted.

  • Physical examination and medical history: inform your orthopaedist (link to about us) of the potential activities that may have led to an injury. Physically the area of injury will be examined and several motion tests will be conducted to review the injury. Some key information athletes should reveal are:
  1. Type of sports
  2. Position in team 
  3. Duration of athletic endeavours 
  4. When you were aware of symptoms
  5. Prior injury 
  • Imaging tests: magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) would be required to provide a detailed view of most injuries and may help identify any tears or other damage. An x-ray and computed tomography scan (CT-scan) may be conducted to help identify any fractures or bone damage in joints. Athletes too, are prone to arthritis, so x-rays would be ordered if your orthopedist has suspicion of arthritic injuries. 
  • Diagnostic arthroscopy: arthroscopy involves inserting a small camera into the injured joint to visualise the affected joint structure as well as assess the extent of the injury. Arthroscopy is also conducted when conditions are evasive or suspicion of injuries of surrounding muscle, tissues, or ligaments are present. 
Arthroscopy involves inserting a small camera into the area of injury.

Sports injury treatment in Singapore

Treatment approaches for athletes can be different compared to the rest of the population. This is because it is common for athletes to approach an orthopaedist with a sense of urgency for their recovery. Depending on your condition, treatment would vary.

Examples of treatments include: 

  • Oral medication: oral medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and analgesics are prescribed to reduce inflammation and manage pain. If infections are present, you may also be prescribed antibiotics.
  • Immobilisation and rest: complete immobilisation is frequently the best first measure to provide healing to the injured area. Where conditions are less severe, you may be advised to take a break from sports but allowed to resume your usual life routine.
  • Crutches, braces, and casts: you may be advised to use crutches, braces, or casts to immobilise specific sites of injury.
  • Physiotherapy: physiotherapy for athletes varies as often it does just involve recovery and strengthening but also specific strategies for you to return to sports without deterred performance. Speak with your orthopaedist about your goals and concerns regarding your performance to ensure collaborative work in recovery.
  • Surgery: common treatment favoured by athletes as it often statistically favours speedier recovery. There are diverse surgical procedures depending on the type of injury sustained. Where diagnostic arthroscopy is involved, often surgery is performed right after when type of injury is established. 
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For emergency appointment, please call or Whatsapp us at (65) 8909 8877. We will arrange for a limousine to send you to our clinic.
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