My knee hurts…

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knee pain Singapore
Image taken from PT Health Canada

Knee pain is an extremely common problem across all ages, though the chances of getting knee pain increase with age, as well as frequency and type of physical activity. There are several causes of knee pain Singapore:

Strained/Torn Ligament

Ligaments are soft, flexible bands of tissue joining bones to bones, and are commonly found in joints such as the shoulder joint where the upper arm bone (humerus) is joined with the scapula (shoulder blade). At the knee joint, the thigh bone (femur) is joined to the shin bone (tibia) and there are four important ligaments around that area:

Singapore knee pain specialist
Taken from John Hopkins Medicine

Cruciate Ligaments

  • The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is located in the centre of the knee. It controls the rotation and forward movement of the tibia.
  • The PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) isalso found in the centre of the knee. It controls the backward movement of the tibia. The ACL and the PCL form a ‘cross’ shape, extending in opposite directions.

Collateral Ligaments

  • The MCL (medial collateral ligament), joins the femur and tibia along the inner side of the knee – the ligament closest to the other knee.
  • The LCL (lateral collateral ligament), joins the femur and tibia along the outer side of the knee – the ligament furthest from the other knee. The MCL and LCL both enforce stability of the knee.

The most common knee ligament injury is an ACL tear, which happens when the joint undergoes a sudden twisting motion, for example if one’s feet are planted flat on the floor while the knees snap to face another direction. Therefore, people who play basketball and football face a higher risk of having their ACL torn1, as they have to pivot extremely quickly during plays. A PCL tear is caused by blunt impact, such as being tackled to the ground during rugby or football or colliding with a car. Stretching or tearing of the collateral ligaments are usually caused by a direct blow to the ligament itself at the side of the knee – so sports which involve hitting the lower body with sticks or other objects such as hockey will increase the risk of getting MCL or LCL injuries. Please always exercise caution when playing sports.

Someone who has just torn their ACL, PCL, MCL or LCL may hear something popping, though not experiencing any pain, and they may be unable to stand unsupported on the leg as it buckles. Swelling at the knee may also be observed1. It is advisable to go to a Singapore knee pain specialist for your symptoms to be diagnosed as the symptoms of a torn ligament may be similar to other conditions causing knee pain.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome (IT Syndrome)

knee pain treatment specialist
Taken from Orchard Health Clinic

If the iliotibial (IT) band – fascia extending from the hip to the knee – becomes too tight, it may rub excessively against the femur, which could cause the IT band to swell and become painful.

IT band syndrome (ITBS) can be identified by steadily worsening pain on the outside of the knee as the person cycles, runs or participates in exercise involving repetitive leg motion. You may also hear a snapping, popping or clicking sound at the knee area when you move your leg.2 Often, incorrect or insufficient stretching before exercise is the key cause of ITBS, but you should see a knee pain specialist in Singapore, like Dr Yong Ren from The Orthopaedic and Pain Practice (TOPP) for an official diagnosis and to determine the specific reason for getting it, plus recovery instructions for them to heal properly.

Patellar Tendonitis

Patellar tendonitis is a condition where the patellar tendon (tissue connecting the knee cap/ patella to the tibia) is overstressed, usually because it is partially torn over and over again before it has a chance to heal. This leads to inflammation of the tendon; due to it having insufficient time to recover, it gets progressively more damaged3 every time the individual participates in vigorous exercise, and the body issues a warning sign through knee pain. Patellar tendonitis tends to befall individuals who jump and land heavily on their feet often (hence the name jumper’s syndrome), such as basketball players, however even someone who rarely exercises might suffer from patellar tendonitis.

knee pain specialist in Singapore
Taken from Medical Wave

Someone might have patellar tendonitis if they feel acute pain at the base of their kneecap, especially when leaving a kneeling or squatting position to stand4. If left untreated, the condition will start to worsen until everyday activities (which involve bending and straightening of the knee) like getting up from a chair or walking slowly start to hurt. If you suspect you may have patellar tendonitis, please take early steps and see a Singapore knee pain specialist as soon as possible. It is inadvisable to try to treat patellar tendonitis on your own or continuing to exercise at the same rate5, as it is easily complicated by even simple actions like walking.

Knee Bursitis

Bursitis occurs when the bursa, a fluid-filled sac in the knee, swells because of excess pressure or overuse6. It’s especially likely to happen to someone who spends a lot of time in positions which put pressure on their knees, for example if they are gardening or scrubbing the floor for a long time. As this can be mistaken for other causes of knee pain, please visit a knee pain treatment specialist – Dr Yong Ren of The Orthopaedic and Pain Practice, to receive an official diagnosis and certified treatment options.

Knee Osteoarthritis

Knee Osteoarthritis
A diagram of knee osteoarthritis, taken from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

The probability of getting knee osteoarthritis increases with age, as it is caused by wear and tear of the cartilage covering the ends of the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone). The amount of synovial fluid in the space between the two bones drops, hence there is a lot of friction between the two bones’ hard surfaces which start to rub against each other7, which is very painful and gradually gets worse the longer the knee has to support the individual’s body weight.

You might have knee osteoarthritis if you hear a grating sound when you move your knee joint, or feel stiffness around your knee when you wake up or after a long period of not moving. Bone spurs, extra lumps of hard bone, can form on the femur and tibia due to the absence of the cartilage and will be painful. There are a number of knee pain treatment specialists which can perform procedures to reduce the pain caused by knee osteoarthritis, like the minimally invasive methods of genicular nerve ablation and viscosupplementation, which are offered by our clinic – The Orthopaedic and pain practice.

Should I see a knee pain treatment specialist?

If you detect pain in your knee, it could become more serious if left untreated. Please take early action and see a knee pain specialist in Singapore – Dr Yong Ren of The Orthopaedic and Pain Practice if you are unable to walk or climb the stairs without feeling pain in your knee. A Singapore knee pain specialist will be able to advise you accordingly on stretching exercises you can do at home, or if preferred, give injections to lessen the pain. Feel free to book an appointment with us today if you would like to see a knee pain specialist in Singapore – Dr. Yong Ren.

Contact us with the details below:

6694 6270 (Call)
9898 3595 (WhatsApp)
[email protected] (Email)

Novena Specialist Centre #06-08, 16-19
8 Sinaran Drive, Singapore 307470


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Sarah Taylor

Obstetrics & Gynaecology