Arthroplasty Surgery in Singapore

Arthroplasty surgery is one of the most effective and affordable surgeries in Singapore. Hip and knee replacement, or arthroplasty, surgery waitlists continue to grow. With wear and tear over time, the cartilage in our joints breakdown. It can become painful and may limit your movement and mobility.

The most common arthroplasty surgeries in Singapore replace the hip or knee joint. Our hips and knees undergo a lot of stress throughout our lives. These joints absorb substantial force and weight when we walk, jump, and move. Thus, the cartilage is more likely to breakdown and cause pain during weight-bearing activities.

Arthroplasty surgery can lead to restored function of these joints and an improved overall quality of life. The new joint can last up to 15-20 years. Trends continue to lean toward most individuals having at least one arthroplasty procedure in their lifetime.

Our team takes care of you during the pre-surgery, surgery, and post-surgery stages. At the Singapore Sports and Orthopaedic Clinic, our experienced team can help you get back to living your life, free of pain.

What Are the Benefits of an Arthroplasty?

As science and technology continue to improve, joint replacement surgery continually gets better and the benefits continue to grow. Benefits of undergoing a arthroplasty surgery in Singapore include:

  • Less pain
  • Increased mobility
  • Decreased risk of depression
  • An increased quality of life

The overall outcome of these procedures are high, with almost all experiencing decreased pain levels and improved functioning.

However, as with any surgery, the procedure does not come without its risks. Risks include:

  • Infection
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Blood clots
  • Loosening of replacement parts

These risks are often higher in those that suffer from pre-existing conditions beforehand.

Why Undergo an Arthroplasty?

Degenerative diseases, such as osteoarthritis, are the most common reasons for undergoing an arthroplasty surgery.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. Over time, wear and tear causes the protective cartilage in between bones to breakdown. This creates painful bone-on-bone grinding. Other reasons for undergoing an arthroplasty procedure include injury or damage to the joint, necrosis, or rheumatoid arthritis.

While physiotherapy and chiropractic care methods may help ease the pain via strengthening of the surrounding muscles, pain may still persist. When the pain begins to interfere with one’s quality of life and daily activities, an arthroplasty procedure is often recommended.

So, What Exactly Does a Arthroplasty Procedure Involve?

In short, the affected joint is either replaced or partially reconstructed. Since the 2 most common procedures involve the hip or knee, the following outlines hip and knee arthroplasty surgeries in a step-by-step process.

Hip Replacement Surgery:

  1. A general anesthesia is administered. This will allow you to sleep during the surgery and allow your muscles to relax making the operation easier for the surgical team to perform. You will also feel no pain during the procedure.
  2.  An incision is made on the side of the hip.
  3. The ball portion of the femur bone is removed and replaced with an artificial part.
  4. Damaged portions of hip bone, such as cartilage, are removed.
  5. The replaced ball portion of the femur bone is then inserted into the hip.
  6. Tissue, such as muscle, is reattached, and the incision is, then, closed.

Knee Replacement Surgery:

  1. A general anesthesia is administered. This will allow you to sleep during the surgery and allow your muscles to relax making the operation easier for the surgical team to perform. You will also feel no pain during the procedure.
  2. An incision is made vertically in the front of the kneecap.
  3. The kneecap is moved out of the way to make room to perform the surgery directly on the joint.
  4. Damage to the femur bone is removed. It is, then, resurfaced to fit the artificial piece.
  5. An artificial piece is attached to the end of the femur bone.
  6. The top of the shin bone is treated in a similar fashion. Damaged portions are removed and the top of the shin bone is fitted with an artificial piece.
  7. A plastic piece is snapped into the top of the shin bone’s new part to help the knee bend properly.
  8. The patella is adjusted. A plastic piece may also be added to the patella to allow it to fit properly in the new knee joint.
  9. The joint is moved to ensure each piece is functioning properly. Then, the incision is closed.

Pre-Surgery Care

Before surgery, the appropriate examinations and tests are carried out to ensure as little risk as possible. Your surgeon will fully explain the procedure and answer any questions you may have. Your surgeon will also ask that you do not consume any food for a set time before the procedure.

If you are on a waitlist for surgery or have months in advance to plan, it is recommended to begin strengthening around the area before undergoing the procedure. Strengthening these muscles beforehand will help with the recovery process. Discuss your options with your surgeon or your chiropractor and physiotherapist.

Post-Surgery Care

Following an arthroplasty surgery in Singapore, your surgical team may require that you move the joint right away. For hip replacement surgery, you may be required to walk right after surgery. This will ensure proper healing and mobility of the new joint. Your doctor will also prescribe pain medication to help you deal with the initial stages of recovery.

Your doctor will further provide instructions on how to take proper care of the incision while it heals. It is also important to take extra care not to fall after surgery as this could cause damage to the newly replaced joint. Use handrails and supports when necessary.

Often, a rehab program through a registered physiotherapist or chiropractor is recommended during the post-surgery stage.

Orthopaedic Care Post-Arthroplasty

Before joint replacement surgery, exercise may help decrease and manage your pain levels. Following an arthroplasty surgery in Singapore, exercise in the rehabilitation process can help:

  • Decrease swelling
  • Improve range of motion and mobility
  • Improve gait and help retrain gait mechanics

Your physician will work with you to help you gain back your confidence and get you back to your regular activities. Initially, heat or ice application may be used to help reduce the swelling and pain. They will prescribe and help you perform stretches and strengthening exercises to help promote movement of the joint and provide support to the new joint.

Having a qualified healthcare professional guide you through the rehabilitation process can help determine the success of your arthroplasty surgery. It also ensure you complete your exercises correctly which is essential to proper function of the new joint.

For the knee joint, post-surgery exercises focus on strengthening the quad and achieving full range of flexion. For the hip joint, post-surgery exercises will focus on the gluteal muscles, the major muscles of the leg, and core strengthening. Your healthcare provider will also instruct you on proper gait techniques throughout the recovery stage.

At the Singapore Sports and Orthopaedic Clinic, our team of doctors and surgeons can guide you through the entire process. From start to finish, our experts provide the best treatment and care addressing your specific needs and goals.

Call and book your consultation today. Get back to your regular activities and get back to enjoying your life.

How Can I Manage Pain After My Total Hip Replacement Surgery?

Patients who are scheduled for a total hip replacement surgery will often have many questions about the procedure, and the most common being pain management. Most patients want to know how to overcome the initial pain barrier and how to live with it during the recovery period. They want to be able to sleep well and not be woken up in the middle of the night drenched in cold sweat from the pain. In this article, we will look at ways to manage pain after hip replacement surgery.

Pain is essentially a chemical reaction occurring in the body. Different people have different pain tolerance levels so it is very subjective. Therefore, pain management usually requires a certain level of expectations on the patient’s part. Hip replacement surgery will definitely bring about significant inconvenience of the need for prolonged periods of immobility and rest in order to allow the body to kick start the healing process. Our body repairs the muscles and tissues when we are at rest.

In the initial stages of post surgery, minimal motion is recommended. Often by the 10th day, the pain level will be bearable without the need for oral medications to suppress it. Patients during this stage will start to use walking aids such as crutches and walkers to aid them in their movements. Whenever feasible, you should always try to use ice to help relief the swelling and bring down the pain. With advances in technology, reusable gel packs that are capable of staying cold for long periods of time are available and this offers a much better option for patients.

Pain relief medications are a must. Otherwise, the pain may get so unbearable that you cannot do anything. However, always remember to use medication in conjunction with ice packs in order to reduce the dependency on drugs.

Elevating the legs will also help to bring down swelling. This can be done almost everywhere. Regular elevation of the leg coupled with icing and medication will help bring down the pain to a new low. Physical therapy will also be required by the patient for up to a year depending on the recovery level. Physical therapy helps the patient to regain range of motion, build up muscles and strengthen the injured area in order to prevent re-injury.

Pain management after hip replacement surgery is fairly straight forward. Lots of rest is needed followed by regular consumption of pain relief medication, icing, elevation and physical therapy. The initial stages may be difficult at first but persevere on and the results will be all worthwhile.

What Are Risks Of Delaying My Hip Replacement Surgery?

Your rights as a patient permit you to decide when to undergo your hip replacement surgery. Your doctor can only provide professional advices from their many years of experience. A high chance is that your surgeon will recommend you to undergo hip replacement as soon as possible in order to reduce pain and prevent aggravating the injury. However, it all depends on you to make the ultimate call as you may have concerns such as your finances, pre-planned overseas trip and many more. So what are some risks of delaying your hip replacement surgery?

Deterioration of joint tissues

The most serious risk when you delay surgery is the possible deterioration of joint tissues as well as further injuries to the hip joint. This is especially so in patients suffering from degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis. As osteoarthritis progress, the diseased joint wears out more. It will ultimately lead to a deformed joint. When the diseased joint is at its infancy stage, hip resurfacing is one of the possible treatment methods. However, a delay of surgery will render this option impossible.

Sedentary lifestyle

Patients who delay surgery may also become sedentary after a certain period and daily simple activities and task will soon become hard to carry out. As pain and discomfort set in, patients will find it difficult to walk around. This will then lead to muscle atrophy.

Revision surgery has its limit

One important thing you need to know is that your implant has a finite lifespan. The wear and tear rate varies among patients due to the different activity levels but most will be able to last for at least a decade. Revision surgery is much more complex than the first surgery as there are lesser bones and tissues to work with. Ageing will also cause a reduction in flexibility in joints. Therefore, the longer you delay your first surgery, the harder it is for you to undergo a revision surgery in future.

One common consensus of many patients arrived at the conclusion: most wish they had performed hip replacement surgery earlier instead of waiting for even a few months. Hip replacement surgery had allowed them to return to pre-injury activity level and provide a better quality of life to them and their loved ones. Deciding on when is the best time to undergo surgery depends on you and your immediate concerns. You need to fully understand the surgery risks and weigh them against whatever concerns you have at the moment before arriving at the best solution yourself.