Everything You Need to Know About Knee Surgery in Singapore

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Knee surgery is a crucial medical procedure that aims to improve the quality of life for individuals suffering from various knee-related conditions. In Singapore, a hub for advanced medical care, knee surgery in Singapore has evolved into a comprehensive field with cutting-edge techniques and specialized clinics. This article delves into the essential aspects of knee surgery in Singapore, covering a range of topics from common knee-related conditions to surgical options, pre-operative preparations, post-operative care, and the process of selecting the right surgeon and clinic. Whether you’re seeking information for yourself or a loved one, this guide will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of knee surgery in Singapore.

Understanding Knee Surgery


When there is structural damage to the knee, surgery may be necessary. This is also the case if other methods of pain relief have not been successful in relieving pain caused by structural damage or other knee-related conditions such as osteoarthritis. During the operation, an anesthesiologist will ensure that the patient does not experience any pain. Anesthesiologists also provide post-surgical pain relief which is essential for successful physical therapy and rehabilitation following the surgery.

Common Knee Injuries

The most widespread knee injuries are strains and ruptures of the soft tissues (for example, ligaments, meniscus), fractures, and dislocations. Typically, multiple structures in the knee are affected by the injury. Pain and inflammation are the most frequent indicators of knee injury. Additionally, the knee may get stuck or lock up. Certain knee injuries (like ACL tear) can cause a feeling of instability, where the knee seems to be giving away.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injuries – Injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament are commonly seen in athletes who play sports which involve sudden changes in direction or jumping, such as soccer, football, and basketball. ACL tears can be a result of incorrect landing or rapid movements, and are often accompanied by damage to other knee structures, such as articular cartilage, meniscus, or other ligaments.

Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Injuries – Damage to the posterior cruciate ligament can occur when a significant amount of pressure is applied to the knee joint while it is in a flexed position. These types of injuries often take place in motor vehicle accidents and in collisions that occur during sports.

Collateral Ligament Injuries – Damage to the collateral ligaments typically occurs when the knee is forced to move laterally from an external force, such as a collision with another object.  When the knee is pushed outwards by a strike to the inside, it may damage the Lateral Collateral Ligament. Tears to the LCL are not as common as other knee injuries.

Meniscal Tears – Tears in the meniscus can occur due to physical activity such as twisting, cutting, pivoting or being tackled. They may also be caused by the wear and tear of aging or arthritis. As people age, the menisci may become weaker, which could lead to them tearing from doing everyday activities, like twisting when getting up from a chair.

Tendon Tears – The quadriceps and patellar areas of the body can suffer from either stretching or tearing of the tendons. These types of injuries are more frequent in middle-aged individuals who are active in running or jumping activities. Knee tendon injuries may be the result of trauma to the anterior knee area, or due to improper landings or jumps.

Fractures – The patella is the bone most commonly broken around the knee. Additionally, the femur and tibia ends, which come together to form the knee joint, could be fractured. High-impact trauma, including falls from a great height or motor vehicle accidents, are often the etiology of knee fractures.

Dislocation – When the bones of the knee are not properly aligned, it is known as a dislocation. This can be the result of either a complete or partial displacement of the femur and tibia, as well as a shifting of the patella. Abnormalities in the structure of the knee can cause these dislocations, yet in individuals with normal knee structure, the cause is usually attributed to high-energy trauma such as car accidents, falls, and sports-related contact.

Preparation for Knee Surgery: Getting Ready for the Procedure


Undergoing knee surgery can be intimidating for many individuals, but thanks to the development of minimally invasive surgical techniques, doctors are able to make small incisions without disrupting nearby healthy tissue. Moreover, these procedures are often done on an outpatient basis, meaning patients are able to return home the same day and experience a faster and more comfortable recovery.

Prepare beforehand – It is important to make sure that all the insurance, documents and other arrangements are taken care of before the procedure. This will help ease any worries for both you and your family in the days before the surgery. Additionally, completing these tasks beforehand will give you the opportunity to concentrate on your recovery afterwards.

Talk to your doctor – It is essential to be aware of the details of the procedure and the recovery period which follows. Having this knowledge will allow you to better mentally and emotionally prepare for the experience, while also helping you to manage your expectations. You may need to stop taking specific medications a week before the surgery, such as NSAIDs or aspirin, so it is a good idea to have this planned out in advance. Additionally, you may require assistance following the surgery, so make sure you have the necessary support available.

Prepare physically and emotionally – It is important to take care of your physical and mental wellbeing prior to going through with surgery. This may involve making healthy lifestyle choices, such as eating well, exercising regularly, refraining from smoking, and managing stress levels. Doing this will ensure that you are in the best possible state for the operation.

The Surgery Day: What to Expect


On the day of your knee surgery, you can expect a series of well-organized procedures to ensure your comfort and safety. Here’s a general outline of what you can anticipate:

Preparation – You’ll be asked to arrive at the hospital or surgical center ahead of your scheduled surgery time. A nurse or medical staff will guide you through the admission process, review your medical history, and answer any last-minute questions.

Pre-Operative Procedures – You’ll change into a surgical gown and may have an intravenous (IV) line inserted to administer fluids and medications. An anesthesiologist will discuss the anesthesia options (general, regional, or local anesthesia) and address any concerns you might have.

Operating Room Transition – Once everything is set, you’ll be taken to the operating room. The surgical team will prepare the area around your knee and ensure you are positioned correctly on the operating table.

Anesthesia Administration – If you’re undergoing general anesthesia, you’ll fall asleep and remain unaware throughout the procedure. With regional or local anesthesia, the area around your knee will be numbed, and you might remain awake or lightly sedated.

Surgical Procedure – The surgeon will perform the necessary surgical steps based on the type of knee surgery you’re undergoing. This could involve repairing ligaments, removing damaged tissue, or replacing the knee joint with a prosthesis.

Monitoring and Support – Throughout the surgery, your vital signs and anesthesia levels will be monitored closely by the medical team. They will ensure you’re comfortable and stable.

Recovery and Observation – After the surgery is completed, you’ll be taken to the recovery area, where you’ll wake up from anesthesia. Nurses will monitor your condition, pain levels, and vital signs.

Post-Operative Instructions – Once you’re fully awake and stable, the surgeon or nurse will provide you with instructions on post-operative care, pain management, and mobility.

Discharge or Overnight Stay – Depending on the type of knee surgery and your overall health, you may be discharged on the same day or asked to stay overnight for further observation and care.

Follow-Up – You’ll be given a follow-up appointment to meet with your surgeon and evaluate your recovery progress.

Throughout the day, you can expect compassionate care from the medical team who are experienced in ensuring a smooth and safe surgical experience. It’s essential to follow all pre-operative and post-operative instructions to facilitate a successful recovery after knee surgery.

Post-Operative Care: Navigating Recovery

Going through knee surgery can be daunting, however, there are certain measures you can take to make the process go more smoothly. People who are prepared and take an active role in their recovery often get better results.

Rest – It is commonly known that having a good night’s sleep is advantageous for feeling alert and energized the following day, but few understand the significance of getting enough rest after surgery. This does not mean that you must stay in bed all day, although it is recommended to take it easy for the first couple of days, but it does suggest that you should get enough sleep at night and take short naps during the day. Adequate sleep is fundamental for recovering from surgery, as it gives your body the necessary time to repair the damage caused by the surgery. When you are well-rested, you will also have increased energy for physical therapy and other activities essential for recovery. Evidently, patients who get sufficient rest usually have shorter recovery periods than those who do not. Therefore, make sure to get your needed rest.

Eat healthy – It is important for everyone to eat a nutritious diet, but it is especially important for those who have undergone surgery. Eating healthy can provide the nutrients needed for proper healing and help prevent infection. It is also necessary to avoid constipation, which can be a side effect of pain medication and lack of activity. Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can give your body the vitamins, minerals, and fiber it needs to stay healthy and keep digestion running smoothly. Drinking ample amounts of water is also important to stay hydrated.

Move a little – Although it may not seem obvious, it is important to remain active during the recovery period from a knee surgery. It is important not to overexert yourself, as too much activity could slow down the healing process. Physical therapy and walking are good ways to keep your joints flexible and prevent stiffness. Begin walking slowly and gradually increase the distance. If walking causes pain or discomfort in the incision, stop and rest until the pain subsides. If you pay attention to your body, staying active will help your recovery to move along faster.

Use prescribed medicines – Recovery from knee surgery can be uncomfortable and it is essential to follow the directions given for taking pain medication. Taking too much medication can be hazardous and make it hard to decide how much activity is safe. It is important to pay attention to your body and take a break when needed, even if it means taking extra medication. Do not have to endure the pain if it is too severe; speak to your doctor or surgeon about altering your medication routine. It is also important to inform them if you have any questions regarding the side effects of the medication. In many cases, the advantages of pain relief are greater than the risks, however, it is best to be cautious.

Potential Risks and Complications: Understanding the Factors

Knee surgery, like any surgical procedure, carries potential risks and complications. While these risks are generally rare, it’s important to be aware of them before undergoing any surgical options. Some potential risks and complications of knee surgery include:

Infection – Infections can occur in the surgical area, leading to pain, swelling, redness, and fever. Antibiotics are typically prescribed to prevent or treat infections.

Blood Clots – Blood clots (deep vein thrombosis) can form in the legs after surgery, potentially causing swelling, pain, and, if a clot breaks loose and travels to the lungs, a life-threatening condition called pulmonary embolism.

Bleeding – Excessive bleeding during or after surgery is possible and may require additional treatment or even a blood transfusion.

Nerve and Blood Vessel Damage – Nearby nerves and blood vessels can sometimes be inadvertently damaged during surgery, leading to numbness, tingling, or loss of sensation in the affected area.

Allergic Reactions – Some patients may experience an allergic reaction to anesthesia, medications, or materials used during surgery.

Pain and Stiffness – While knee surgery is performed to alleviate pain, there can be temporary pain and stiffness in the surgical area during the recovery process.

Scar Tissue Formation – Excessive scar tissue (arthrofibrosis) can form within the knee joint, limiting movement and causing discomfort.

Implant Complications – In cases of knee replacement surgery, the implant could become loose, dislocated, or cause an adverse reaction.

Poor Healing – Some patients may experience delayed wound healing, leading to infection or the need for additional treatment.

Joint Instability – Following surgery, the knee joint may not function as smoothly as intended, leading to feelings of instability or weakness.

Limited Range of Motion – In some cases, patients may find that their range of motion is limited after surgery, requiring additional therapy or interventions.

Failure to Relieve Pain – While surgery is intended to alleviate pain, there’s a possibility that pain may persist or return after the procedure.

Anesthesia Complications – Reactions to anesthesia can vary, and there is a slight risk of adverse reactions or complications.

It’s important to note that these risks can vary based on the type of knee surgery, the patient’s overall health, and other factors. Surgeons take extensive measures to minimize risks, and patients are advised to closely follow pre-operative and post-operative instructions to reduce the likelihood of complications. Prior to undergoing knee surgery, discussing the potential risks and complications with your surgeon is crucial in making an informed decision about your treatment.

Selecting a Surgeon and Clinic: Making Informed Decisions

When it comes to knee surgery, choosing the right surgeon and clinic is paramount to your successful knee surgery recovery journey. The expertise and experience of your surgeon can greatly influence the outcome of the procedure and your overall satisfaction. Here are some essential factors to consider when selecting a knee surgeon and clinic:

Qualifications and Experience – Look for a surgeon who specializes in knee surgery and has extensive experience in performing the specific procedure you need. A surgeon’s qualifications, certifications, and track record are indicators of their expertise.

Reputation and Reviews – Research the surgeon’s reputation within the medical community and read patient reviews and testimonials. Positive feedback from previous patients can provide valuable insights into the surgeon’s skills and patient care.

Hospital or Clinic Accreditation – Ensure that the hospital or clinic where the surgeon practices is accredited and maintains high standards of patient care, safety, and hygiene.

Advanced Techniques – Inquire about the surgical techniques and technologies the surgeon uses. A surgeon who stays updated on the latest advancements can offer you a wider range of treatment options.

Communication and Bedside Manner – Choose a surgeon who listens to your concerns, answers your questions, and takes the time to explain the procedure and recovery process. A good rapport with your surgeon is essential for a positive surgical experience.

Collaborative Approach – A surgeon who works collaboratively with other healthcare professionals, such as physical therapists and pain management specialists, can ensure comprehensive care throughout your recovery.

Personalized Treatment Plans – Look for a surgeon who tailors treatment plans to your individual needs and goals. Personalized care can lead to better outcomes and a smoother recovery.

At the Orthopaedic Pain and Practice, we pride ourselves on offering comprehensive orthopaedic care. Our team specializes in various knee pain treatments, and we are dedicated to providing the highest level of patient-centered care. From diagnosis to recovery, we’re here to guide you every step of the way, ensuring your journey towards knee health is as smooth and successful as possible. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards a pain-free and active life.

Frequently asked questions:

What is knee surgery?

Knee surgery refers to a medical procedure performed on the knee joint to diagnose, treat, or repair various conditions, injuries, or diseases affecting the knee.

What are the common types of knee surgeries?

Common knee surgeries include total knee replacement, partial knee replacement, knee arthroscopy, ACL reconstruction, and meniscus repair.

How do I prepare for knee surgery?

Your surgeon will provide specific instructions on how to prepare for the surgery, which may include fasting, stopping certain medications, and arranging transportation.

What can I expect on the day of knee surgery?

On the surgery day, you’ll undergo preoperative procedures, anesthesia administration, the surgical procedure, and postoperative monitoring before being transferred to a recovery area.

What is the recovery process like?

Recovery varies based on the type of knee surgery. It often involves physical therapy, pain management, and gradually returning to normal activities over a period of weeks to months.

What are the potential risks of knee surgery?

Risks include infection, bleeding, blood clots, adverse reactions to anesthesia, and surgical complications. Your surgeon will discuss these risks with you.

How long does it take to fully recover from knee surgery?

Recovery times vary, but most patients can resume light activities within a few weeks. Full recovery may take several months, especially for more complex surgeries.

Will I experience pain after knee surgery?

Pain is common after knee surgery, but your surgeon will prescribe pain medications and provide strategies for pain management during the recovery period.


  1. https://www.asahq.org/madeforthismoment/preparing-for-surgery/procedures/knee-surgery/
  2. https://www.bone-joint.com/how-to-prepare-for-knee-surgery/
  3. https://hipandknee.com/knee-surgery/a-road-to-recovery-after-knee-surgery-6-tips-to-follow/
  4. https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/common-knee-injuries/

Dr Yong Ren’s Profile

Dr Yong Ren graduated from the National University of Singapore’s Medical faculty and embarked on his orthopaedic career soon after. Upon completion of his training locally, he served briefly as an orthopaedic trauma surgeon in Khoo Teck Puat hospital before embarking on sub-specialty training in Switzerland at the famed Inselspital in Bern.

He underwent sub-specialty training in pelvic and spinal surgery, and upon his return to Singapore served as head of the orthopaedic trauma team till 2019. He continues to serve as Visiting Consultant to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.

Well versed in a variety of orthopaedic surgeries, he also served as a member of the country council for the local branch of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Osteosynthesefragen (Trauma) in Singapore. He was also involved in the training of many of the young doctors in Singapore and was appointed as an Assistant Professor by the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine. Prior to his entry into the private sector, he also served as core faculty for orthopaedic resident training by the National Healthcare Group.

Dr Yong Ren brings to the table his years of experience as a teacher and trainer in orthopaedic surgery. With his expertise in minimally invasive fracture surgery, pelvic reconstructive surgery, hip and knee surgery as well as spinal surgery, he is uniquely equipped with the tools and expertise necessary to help you on your road to recovery.

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Sarah Taylor

Obstetrics & Gynaecology