Knee Replacement Surgery in Singapore
When a knee joint has become severely injured or diseased, and causing significant pain and mobility issues, knee replacement surgery in Singapore may be considered. Here's what you need to know about this form of orthopaedic surgery.
What Is Knee Replacement Surgery?
Knee replacement surgery, also called knee arthroplasty, replaces a severely diseased knee joint with a new, artificial one. This is commonly done due to the effects of advanced osteoarthritis. There are different types of knee replacement surgery available, and your Singapore knee surgeon will determine which is most appropriate for you.
What Are the Indications for a Knee Replacement Surgery?
Knee replacement surgery is often the last resort for patients who have ruled out other non-surgical treatment methods, including anti-inflammatory medications, exercise, physiotherapy, joint injections, weight loss and other less invasive procedures; but still experience symptoms of severe knee pain and stiffness that interfere with their daily lives. Common indications for Singapore knee surgery include:
- Severe pain in the knee joint, even while resting
- Stiffness and increased mobility limitations in the knee joint
- Persistent knee irritation and swelling
- Severe knee deformities over time
- Having a previous knee injury
What Are the Different Types of Knee Replacement Surgery Available?
There are different types of knee replacement surgery performed by our knee specialist, including:
- Partial Knee Replacement - This procedure restores function to damaged areas of the knee by replacing just the damaged part with an artificial implant while preserving healthy knee ligaments and cartilage. Suitable patients with early-stage osteoarthritis or limited joint damage (e.g. localised pain to only one compartment of the knee) may undergo this procedure.
- Total Knee Replacement - This is a common knee replacement procedure that surgically replaces all three diseased compartments of the knee, typically due to advanced arthritis. In this procedure, the knee replacement surgeon will completely remove damaged bone, cartilage, and muscle in the knee area and replace them with prosthetic parts to regain normal function.
- Revision Knee Replacement - This procedure refers to the revision of a previously-done knee replacement surgery (whether total or partial). This is normally only needed when the components of the artificial joint wear out, or fail. In a revision knee replacement, affected components of the original prosthesis will be removed and replaced with new components.
- Robotic knee replacement - This form of knee replacement leverages robotic technology to deliver greater consistency and precision in knee replacement surgery. A detailed 3d map of the knee is built based on data collected pre- and intra-operatively allowing for a customised surgical plan. A robot arm then assists the knee specialist in performing the surgical bone cuts allowing for a personalised alignment for every patient’s knee. Dr LS Wang is a trainer for robot-assisted knee replacement surgery and teaches surgeons in the region on the use of this technology.
How Do I Prepare for Knee Replacement Surgery?
To identify the severity of joint damage and their eligibility for various types of knee replacement surgery, patients must undergo the following diagnostic tests and pre-operative evaluations at our knee treatment clinic:
- Pre-Surgery Medical Evaluation and Tests - A Singapore knee surgeon will perform several tests including a physical exam, an evaluation of one’s medical history, blood tests, electrocardiogram (ECG) tests, and imaging tests such as X-rays and MRIs to accurately assess one’s range of mobility and extent of damage.
- Adjustment of Existing Medications - Patients should make known their existing intake of medications and supplements to their knee doctor, so that he or she may be able to advise the patient on what medications to temporarily stop, cut down, or continue. This is to reduce the risk of complications during and after the surgery.
- Pre-Surgery Instructions and Restrictions - Patients must follow pre-operative instructions provided by our knee specialist so as to prevent any complications from occurring. This includes fasting requirements, medication adjustments and so on.
What to Expect During Knee Replacement Surgery?
The duration of a knee replacement surgery usually ranges between one to two hours. During the procedure, general anaesthesia will be applied (so that you will not be aware of the procedure), and a Singapore knee replacement surgeon will then create an incision at the front of the knee. The diseased cartilage and bones in the thigh bone, shin bone, and kneecap are removed, and a metal-and-plastic prosthesis is implanted to restore the knee's stability and mobility.
How Long Does the Recovery Process Take for Knee Replacement Surgery?
An enhanced recovery protocol is followed in most cases by Dr LS Wang which facilitates an earlier return to full function after knee replacement surgery. Unless otherwise advised, you would generally be able to walk and bear weight on the operated knee immediately after surgery.
Knee replacement surgery requires a recovery period of 6 to 12 weeks. Following the procedure, patients stay in the hospital for a few days so that their initial recovery can be monitored and facilitated by the medical team. During this period, the patient will also be equipped with post-operative care instructions to continue on their own after discharge.
- Physiotherapy - A physiotherapist will recommend certain exercises to strengthen the knee muscles and improve mobility.
- Medications and Pain Management - Pain medications and anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed to provide relief from knee pain, inflammation, and swelling.
- At-Home Care - At-home management, such as compression stockings, ice packs, proper wound care instructions, can be used to reduce pain and swelling in the affected area, and facilitate better healing.
Knee Replacement Surgery FAQs
How much does a knee replacement surgery cost?
The cost of knee replacement in Singapore is determined by several factors, such as the type of knee replacement, hospitalisation costs, type of implant used, doctor’s fees, insurance coverage, and more. For more personalised information on cost, please contact us today.
What are the long-term outcomes of knee replacement surgery?
According to recent data, knee replacements continue to function in more than 80% of patients even after 25 years. The duration will depend on the type of knee replacement performed, the patient’s age and medical condition, activity history, and so on.
In general, patients who have undergone a knee replacement will experience a new lease in life with greatly improved mobility and comfort of their knees.
What are the things to avoid after having a knee replacement surgery?
After a knee replacement, patients are advised to refrain from participating in activities associated with the risk of falling, heavy lifting, running, jumping, kneeling, and strenuous exercise and physical exertion; until they have been cleared by their knee replacement surgeon to do so.
What is the recovery process like after a knee replacement?
With enhanced recovery protocols and minimally invasive techniques, patients typically are discharged from the hospital after 1-2 days. Dr Wang Lushun will perform a wound check at 2 weeks. Most patients will require the use of walking aids for 4-6 weeks. Pain and swelling of the operated knee are significantly reduced at 3 months. Typically, patients can expose the wound after 2 weeks and bathe normally. They may be able to return to driving and kneel on the operated knee after 6 weeks. Dr Wang Lushun will advise patients on a customized recovery plan.
What activities can I do after recovery from a knee replacement?
You can walk as much as you like; and swimming is an excellent activity after a knee replacement and you can resume as soon as the wound is well healed. In general, low-impact fitness sports such as golfing, cycling, tennis are preferable over high-impact activities such as long distance jogging, jumping and skiing.
Can I have a knee replacement if I am allergic to metal?
Yes, but do inform Dr Wang Lushun before the surgery. There are special knee replacements that are made of metal substitutes (ceramic-coated) for patients who are allergic to metal.
- Vol 393, Issue 10172, P655-663, The Lancet, “How long does a knee replacement last? A systematic review and meta-analysis of case series and national registry reports with more than 15 years of follow-up.”