Osteoarthritis treatment Singapore: FAQs

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Considering different treatment options and receiving the treatment is never easy, and you are bound to have questions. This article gives you the answers to the most commonly asked questions, and hopefully you can receive the treatment you need with peace of mind. Do check out this article [All you need to know about osteoarthritis] to find out more about osteoarthritis treatments available.

How can I prepare for nerve ablation?

These are some of the main things to take note of before you have a radiofrequency ablation:

  • Remove jewellery and piercings so that they do not interfere with the radio waves during the procedure [4]
  • You may have to stop taking some of your medications a few days prior to having the procedure. Blood-thinning medicine especially may have to be temporarily stopped. Do check with the doctor that prescribed this for you before doing this.
  • Refrain from eating 6 hours before the procedure
  • Refrain from having clear liquids/water 2 hours before the procedure [1]

Do check out this FAQ on radiofrequency nerve ablation [Radiofrequency for pain treatment Singapore:FAQ] to find out more.

What do I have to do before a joint injection?

  • You may discontinue certain medicines like aspirin and other blood thinning medications. Your doctor will advise on what to do and how long before the procedure you have to do this.
  • Do let the doctor know if you are taking insulin for diabetes.
  • Before the actual joint injection, the doctor will also have to draw your blood to prepare the solution that will be injected later on. This should take about 10-20 minutes.[7]

What do I have to do before an artery embolisation?

  • You may discontinue certain medicines like aspirin and other blood thinning medications. Your doctor will advise on what to do and how long before the procedure you have to do this.
  • Additionally, you should arrange for transport so that you do not have to drive home when the anaesthesia still has not fully worn off.
  • Refrain from food or drink for 6 hours before the procedure.

Are these treatments safe?

Yes, these treatment methods have all been proven to be highly effective with minimum risk posed to your health.

  • For the nerve ablation procedure, the risks of severe side effects occurring are very low, at around 3.5-5%[2].
  • Secondly, N-Stride joint injections use your own blood, so your body is unlikely to reject it or have any reaction to it.[3]The risk of side effects after this procedure is therefore very low.
  • Finally, artery embolisation is a minimally-invasive procedure, so any infection is unlikely to happen. Your doctors are skilled and they will keep you safe during the procedures.

Who will perform the treatment procedures for me?

Anesthesiologists, radiologists, orthopaedic surgeons are all specialists that can perform the nerve ablation procedure for you.[4] Generally, pain management specialists will also perform joint injections. Interventional surgeons will perform the artery embolizations.

Is there anaesthesia involved in these treatment procedures?

You will not be administered general anaesthesia for any of the osteoarthritis treatment procedures and will remain under conscious sedation. Local anaesthesia will be administered to the specific site of the surgery, so you will not feel anything at all during the procedure.

What are the side effects of osteoarthritis treatment?

  • Nerve ablation: There is a risk of nerve damage, excessive bleeding and infection at the site of insertion, however these are very rare. After the procedure, you would usually experience common side effects like temporary numbness, swelling or bruising, and these will go away a few days after the procedure.
  • Joint injection: You may experience bruising and discomfort where the blood was drawn and where the injection was given. [5]
  • Artery embolisation: Common side effects include pain or discomfort in the thigh or knee area where the catheter was placed, as well as some bruising.[6]

Having some side effects is normal and they usually do not pose a risk to your health.

How much time do I have to spend in treatment? (Duration of the procedure)

  • Nerve ablation: 20 to 45 minutes
  • Joint injection: 20 to 30 minutes
  • Artery embolisation: 1 to 2 hours

How long does it take to recover from osteoarthritis treatment, Singapore?

  • Nerve ablation: It may take up to 2 weeks for you to be completely recovered from the nerve ablation. Following this, you should experience much less pain as compared to before you had the radiofrequency ablation.
  • Joint injection: You should experience less swelling and stiffness in the affected joint about 4-5 days after the procedure, and you may even feel less pain than before the procedure just 1-2 weeks after the injection. For most people, pain relief is experienced after 4-8 weeks.[8]
  • Artery embolisation: It should take 2-3 weeks for the inflammation to be reduced, and for you to experience relief from the original pain and discomfort.[9]

If you are looking to have osteoarthritis treatment, Singapore The Orthopaedic & Pain Practice is able to provide this for you! Feel free to book an appointment with us today. Details can be found below:

9898 3595 (Call or WhatsApp)

[email protected] (Email)


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Sarah Taylor

Obstetrics & Gynaecology