Dr David Su, Medical Director at The Orthopaedic Centre, shares the common causes of chronic knee pain and other knee problems like knee osteoarthritis and Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears.
Chronic knee pain for people below 45 is commonly caused by overdoing and overuse from sports. As for those above 45, the common cause is age-related wear and tear leading to degenerative knee conditions. Three common knee pain problems are Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (runner’s knee), knee osteoarthritis and knee ligament and cartilage injuries.
Runner’s knee happens when the kneecap is misaligned and rubs against the lower end of the femur. This is often caused by repetitive stress on the knees due to an excessive running or cycling routine. Dr David Su recommended that runners incorporate cross-training in their fitness routine to get a good mix of load on joints and muscles. Some supplements can help to stimulate the formation and repair of the cartilage or keep it from deteriorating.
Dr Kannan is an orthopaedic surgeon whom currently runs the Centre for Foot & Ankle Surgery and consulting at Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre, Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre and Parkway East Medical Centre, Singapore. He is a fellowship trained orthopaedic surgeon with a subspecialty interests in lower limb (leg), and foot and ankle disorders.
He obtained his postgraduate qualification from the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh. He was awarded the prestigious MOH Scholarship by the Ministry of Health (Singapore) to pursue further training in the field of Lower Limb Reconstructive Surgery (LLRS) with special emphasis on Foot and Ankle (F&A) Reconstruction.
He completed his subspecialty training in Switzerland and in the Netherlands, subspecializing in F&A reconstruction and in Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) where he was involved with the surgical teams treating elite European athletes. Prior to commencing private practice, Dr. Kannan held the appointment of Chief, Foot & Ankle Surgery at a restructured hospital in Singapore.
Dr Kannan has extensive experience in reconstructive foot and ankle surgery, being one of a very small number of subspecialists in this area in Singapore and the region. He shares his experts view on pain caused by running injuries:
Dr Tan Chyn Hong, an elbow, knee and shoulder specialist surgeon, was the head of division of Sports Medicine in National University Hospital in Singapore before moving on to private practice. He led a team of orthopaedic surgeons, sports physician and sports therapist, to provide comprehensive medical care to athletes. His patients included national athletes (basketball, netball, canoeists, judo, taekwondo etc) and professional footballers
Dr Tan has a special interest in the treatment of Shoulder, Knee and Elbow problems. He pioneered the technique of implantless arthroscopic rotator cuff shoulder surgery in Singapore. He was the first surgeon in Singapore to perform the keyhole rotator cuff repair without using any metal or plastic implants.
In 2007, he was part of the workgroup appointed by Ministry of Health to develop the national clinical practice guidelines in the treatment of Osteoarthritis of the Knee. In the same year, he was awarded the inaugural College of Surgeons Gold medal from the Academy of Medicine Singapore for being the most outstanding candidate in the fellowship examination of the Royal College of Surgeons (Orthopaedic Surgery) Edinburgh.
Dr Tan has extensive experience dealing with knee problems including meniscus surgery, ligament reconstruction (anterior cruciate ligament, posterior cruciate ligament, collateral ligament) and cartilage regeneration. Most of these surgeries can be done arthroscopically (keyhole approach) with minimal pain and quicker recovery. He shares his experts opinion on:
Dr Lee Eu Jin is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon with a subspecialty interest in hip and knee surgery.
Dr Lee graduated from Guy's, King's and St Thomas' School of Medicine, London (UK) in 2002 and completed his Specialist training in 2010. He had always found the field of orthopaedic surgery fascinating and was invited to join the prestigious training programme at Kings College Hospital in his final year as a medical student! "Where can you find such an eclectic mix of biology, medicine, physics and engineering other than in orthopaedic surgery?" is what he often tells his students when asked about his reason in choosing this specialty.
Dr Lee Eu Jin obtained his Masters of Medicine in Orthopaedic Surgery from NUS in 2007. He became a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons (Edinburgh, UK) in 2006 and was invited to be a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery, Edinburgh, UK) in 2010. That same year, Dr Lee was awarded the ASEAN Orthopaedic Association Travelling Fellowship where he represented Singapore in the annual cross- cultural and knowledge exchange programme with other ASEAN orthopaedic surgeons. Dr Lee is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medical (London, UK).
In 2011, Dr Lee was awarded the Human Manpower Development Plan scholarship from the Ministry of Health and travelled to Bern, Switzerland. There he underwent sub- specialty training in hip and knee surgery. During his time there, Dr Lee also did research and clinical trials on ground breaking work in the treatment of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Repairs (knee ligament tears and surgical repairs) as well as in implant design for prosthesis of the knee (Unicompartmental Knee Arthroplasty- a special type of partial knee replacement surgery). For his work in Switzerland, he was awarded the Bernese Knee Fellowship Award. Dr Lee also travelled to Lyon, France, specifically to learn and develop advanced techniques for patella- femoral disorders (problems with the knee cap) in 2012.
Prior to starting his own practice, Dr Lee was a consultant with Raffles Hospital and Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. He was a Senior Clinical Lecturer with the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore (NUS) and a lecturer at the Nayang Polytechnic School for Health Science (Advanced Diploma for Nursing). He has presented in numerous international meetings and published widely in peer-reviewed journals. He is also actively involved in international specialist surgeon training for joint replacement surgery.
In his free time, Dr Lee tries to contribute back to community. In 2006, he won the Minister for Health Award for his contribution in the Yogjakarta earthquake relief mission.
The knee joint, the largest and complex joint of the human body, takes an enormous amount of pressure for even simple day-to-day activities. For example, when climbing stairs or running, each knee joint may absorb three times the body weight. This is one reason why the knee joint is prone to experiencing wear-and-tear, called osteoarthritis. This refers to progressive damage of the cartilage, excruciating pain, restricted movement and reduced quality-of-life.
Injuries are the other quite common issues that are associated with knee problems. Some of the problems which are associated include conditions such as anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, medial collateral ligament (MCL) tears, meniscus tears, cartilage injuries and patella dislocations. A lot of people, e.g. skilled sportspersons, sustain ACL tears due to activities such as football, basketball and skiing. An ACL tear, in a young patient, is best treated with surgery to reconstruct a new ACL, therefore giving the patient a good knee for the years to come.