Knee replacement surgery, also known as knee arthroplasty, involves removing the damaged bone and cartilage and replacing them with metal implants. The aim of the procedure is to resurface damaged portions of the knee joint and relieve knee pain that cannot be treated in any other way. Apart from elderly patients with osteoarthritis, knee replacement surgery may be an option for athletes in Singapore to recover from their injury and resume sports activities.
How Knee Replacement Surgery is Performed
Prior to the surgery, general anaesthesia may be administered to put you to sleep during the procedure. Alternatively, you may opt for spinal or epidural anaesthesia to block any sensation in the lower half of the body. However, bear in mind that you will remain awake while undergoing the knee replacement surgery.
Once the anaesthesia takes effect, your doctor will make a cut down your knee to access the joint. They will then remove the damaged parts of the knee before fitting the metal implants in. There may be three implants, in total, to be attached to the femur, tibia and patella surfaces in your knee. To complete the knee replacement surgery, a plastic articular spacer will be positioned between the metal components to improve implant stability.
Get Knee Replacement Surgery in Singapore Now
If you find that your knee pain is not getting any better or you’ve had an injury that deformed your joints, it may be time to consider knee replacement surgery. Book an appointment with Dr Gowreeson today from Orthofoot MD Singapore Sports and Orthopaedic Clinic to seek a timely and appropriate treatment for your knee injury.
Frequently Asked Questions About Knee Replacement Surgery
1. When Do You Need a Knee Replacement Surgery?
The most common condition that requires knee replacement surgery is osteoarthritis, a condition that is characterised by the breakdown of joint cartilage. Other forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and arthritis arising from a knee injury, may also result in knee joint degeneration. Hence, younger people who do sports regularly in Singapore may also suffer from knee ailments that may require surgery.
Surgery is usually recommended when non-surgical knee treatments fail to alleviate the pain. Depending on your condition, a partial or total knee replacement may be recommended. You may also need revision surgery 15 to 20 years after the initial surgery to repair worn-out prostheses.
2. How Long is the Recovery Process for a Knee Replacement Surgery?
Patients typically stay in the hospital for 3 to 5 days after the knee replacement surgery, depending on the complexity of the procedure. You will be able to stand up with the help of crutches within 12 to 24 hours of the surgery, and you may continue to need crutches until around 6 weeks after the surgery. Painkillers will be prescribed to help you manage the pain and it may take up to 3 months for the pain to completely subside. Full recovery may take at least a year.
3. Can I Still Do Sports After Knee Replacement Surgery?
Yes, with proper recovery and rehabilitation, you will be able to go back to playing sports after the procedure. In fact, resuming sports activities post-surgery may result in stronger knee functions than those who avoid exercise after the surgery, because staying active helps to build up muscles and knee support structures. Your orthopaedic surgeon in Singapore will advise you further.
Dr Gowreeson Thevendran is currently an orthopaedic surgeon with Island Orthopaedic, a one-stop care centre for orthopaedic health under Healthway Medical Group. He specialises in treating lower limb orthopaedic conditions, as well as trauma and fracture surgery of both the upper and lower limbs. Prior to establishing his private practice, Dr Gowreeson was Chief of Foot & Ankle Surgery at the Department of Orthopaedics at Tan Tok Seng Hospital (TTSH). Today, he continues to serve the Orthopaedic Department at TTSH as a visiting consultant.