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.

What to Expect with a Laminectomy in Singapore

A laminectomy procedure on the lower back is one of the most common procedures to treat spinal stenosis, a narrowing of space around the spinal cord. In a laminectomy, surgeons remove the lamina, a bony structure that protects the spinal cord, to relieve pressure causing neural issues and pain. Following a laminectomy surgery, orthopaedic care can aid in the recovery process and help you get back to feeling your best.

Reasons for Undergoing a Laminectomy

Essentially, a laminectomy is performed when other options to alleviate the problem fail to work – it is often a last resort.

The spine is a complex structure. It is made up of 33 vertebrae or bones. These bones of the spine protect the spinal cord. The spinal cord is home to an intricate network of neural bundles stemming from the brain. The brain and spinal cord are the structures that comprise the central nervous system. The central nervous system drives every movement, breath, and thought we make. It is the center of our being. Damage to the spinal cord can cause varying degrees of problems, including paralysis and regulatory functioning issues.

The lamina is the back arch of the vertebrae bone. It protects the spinal cord from outside impact or harm. When abnormalities or bony overgrowths develop on the spine, neural functioning may become significantly impaired and pain may occur. Spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal, may create pressure on the nerves that run through the spine. Bony overgrowths due to age or arthritis may also compress these fragile neural networks.

Consequently, pain, numbness, and weakness may occur. In severe cases, the individual may struggle to walk and may lose control of their bladder and bowel movements. When the symptoms become severe enough that they impact day-to-day function and when other treatment options fail to work, a laminectomy is performed. In other words, the lamina portion of the vertebrae is removed.

What Does a Laminectomy Involve?

A laminectomy surgery in Singapore involves the use of general anesthesia. However, before surgery the appropriate tests and examinations are performed to ensure as little risk as possible. Your doctor will also ask you to avoid food and drinks for a set time before surgery. Your doctor will also ask that you avoid NSAID, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, the week before your surgery.

Depending on the part of the spine that the laminectomy is performed on, it often lasts 1-2 hours. The medical team measures your heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen levels throughout the procedure.

An incision is made at the affected vertebrae. The aggravating part of the lamina is removed, relieving pressure off of the spinal cord. Depending on the severity and type of condition you have, the surgery may also involve spinal fusion or the removal of a slipped disc. Your surgeon will discuss the plan with you beforehand.

Following a laminectomy surgery, the surgery team will take you to a recovery room. Some will be required to stay in the hospital of a few days, while others may undergo a same-day discharge. It entirely depends on the severity of your situation and how invasive the surgery was.

What Are the Risks of a Laminectomy Surgery in Singapore?

As with any surgery, there are varying risks involved. These risks include:

  • Infection
  • Damage to the spinal cord
  • Spinal fluid leak
  • No change in back pain
  • Stroke
  • Heart Attack
  • Blood loss
  • Blood clots
  • Respiratory issues

Frequently, individuals experience relief after surgery. However, surgery may not fully eliminate the cause and it will only remove the decompression in the part of the spine operated on. For example, arthritis or spinal stenosis may still progress after surgery.

The Immediate Recovery Process

The surgeon will likely require you to walk and perform movements right after the surgery. These tests will ensure no damage was done to the spinal cord. They may also prescribe pain relief medication during the initial recovery stage.

Take the advice of your surgeon, and slowly and gradually increase your activity levels. Follow-up appointments will help guide you through the recovery phases. Recovery is often 2-6 weeks. Again, it may depend on your condition and the exact type of surgery performed. For example, if a bone fusion was also performed your doctor may recommend a back brace as part of the recovery process, and your recovery may be slightly longer.

You will have to work to keep the incision clean and dry, particularly the first few days after surgery. If swelling or tenderness occurs at the incision site, seek out medical attention immediately. An infection could potentially develop. Your surgeon will outline how to avoid infection following the surgery.

General advice following a laminectomy surgery in Singapore includes:

  • Avoid sitting for long durations.
  • Avoid driving for 2-4 weeks right after surgery. Discuss your options and prognosis with your surgeon.
  • Avoid heavy lifting.
  • Do not bend or twist the torso. This could potentially open the incision and cause other problems.
  • Do not smoke. Smoking may interfere with your body’s ability to heal properly and quickly.
  • Avoid travelling. Car rides or plane rides may increase your risk of developing a blood clot.

Long-term Recovery

Back surgery sounds scary. It is absolutely normal to experience worries or concerns regarding your surgery and recovery. Ask questions beforehand and after the procedure. Our team of surgeons and doctors would be more than happy to address any concerns you may have.

At the 6 week mark, regular activities can often gradually be resumed. Neural pain may subside in about 4-6 weeks. And pain and swelling will decrease over time and eventually, with use.

Following a laminectomy, chiropractic care and physiotherapy may be recommended to help guide the rehabilitation process. Chiropractic treatment can also coincide with physiotherapy treatment, and vice versa.

However, initial healing must take place before you seek out chiropractic or physiotherapy care. The body is fragile after surgery and a certain amount of rest and time must take place before any spinal manipulation is performed. Often, physiotherapy and chiropractic care can begin about 2 weeks post-surgery.

Research has also supported post-surgery chiropractic and physiotherapy treatment. In the case of a laminectomy, patients reported improved function, mobility, and decreased pain with treatment. No adverse or detrimental effects were reported.

What Can I Expect Post-Surgery?

Most experience reduced back pain symptoms. A Laminectomy surgery improves pain in about 70% of patients.

If you follow proper guidelines and instructions, your quality of life may significantly improve post-surgery. A positive attitude and proper care following your surgery can go a long way and can drastically impact your results. However, you may not notice the results straight away. It may take up to 6 weeks to notice any notable difference.

Chiropractic care and physiotherapy can also help restore mobility and reduce incidences of pain during the later stages of your recovery. Your healthcare provider can recommend exercises throughout the recovery process to help you get back to your regular activities and improve your outcome.

Make sure to always follow the direct advice and instructions from your doctor.

For more information regarding laminectomy procedures and post-surgery care, contact us at +65 9734 3087. If you wish to have your back pain assessed, book an appointment. At the Singapore Sports and Orthopaedic Clinic, our orthopaedic specialists are ready to help you get back to the activities you know and love. Call us today. Start your journey toward a better life.

Gout Treatment (Medication) in Singapore

Surprisingly, gout affects about 1 in 40 individuals. It is a form of arthritis that causes stiffness, tenderness, and pain in the joints. It can make movement difficult and very painful. Luckily, gout treatment can help you manage your symptoms. Orthopaedic care offers a holistic approach to treating gout.

At the Singapore Sports and Orthopaedic Clinic, our qualified experts can help find the best solution and gout treatment in Singapore, for you and your lifestyle.

What Causes Gout?

Thousands of years ago, gout was considered the ‘disease of kings.’ Why? Certain foods with a high purine content, such as shellfish and red meat, and alcohol trigger gout attacks. During this era, these foods and alcohol were limited to royalty and the extremely wealthy. Thus, middle and lower class civilians rarely experienced the disease.

Today, the prevalence and incidences of gout have steadily increased. Our diets have changed. And with technology, we can detect and diagnose gout much easier than ever before.

Gout is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the body. Usually, the kidneys filter and then excrete uric acid through the urine. In certain circumstances, the body may produce uric acid at a higher rate than it can expel it. When uric acid levels in the blood become too high, the body deposits monosodium urate crystals in the joints. These crystals irritate our joints, and cause the symptoms commonly associated with gout including:

  • Tenderness
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Redness
  • Inflammation

The body may be unable to keep up with uric acid levels for a number of reasons. Our body breaks purine down into uric acid. Purine is found in alcohol beverages, various meats, and seafood. When we consume foods high in purine, our bodies may lack the ability to keep up with the production of uric acid. This results in hyperuricemia, or high uric acid levels, in the blood.

In other cases, kidney impairment may cause higher uric acid levels. If the kidneys are unable to excrete uric acid, it builds in the blood. Impaired kidney function may occur due to diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, thyroid disorders, or kidney failure.

Genetics and certain medications are also thought to play a role in the development of gout. For example, diuretic medication used to treat high blood pressure can lead to gout. Diuretics increase your fluid output. Yet, the fluid left in the body may become highly concentrated with uric acid. Doctors advise drinking plenty of fluids when taking diuretics and avoiding foods high in purine to reduce the risk of gout.

How is Gout Diagnosed?

Prior to gout treatment in Singapore, a proper diagnosis must be made by a physician. Your doctor may take into account a number of factors. They may assess and ask questions relating to the following:

  • Are you overweight?
  • Do you consume a diet high in purine foods?
  • Do you regularly consume alcoholic beverages in high amounts?
  • Are you on certain medications, such as diuretics?

A joint fluid test and blood test will confirm a gout diagnosis.

In a joint fluid test, fluid is taken from the inflamed and painful joint via a needle. If crystals are present in the fluid, a gout diagnosis is made. Your doctor may further order an x-ray to ensure the pain is not caused by other problems.

How is Gout Treated?

In some cases, gout is very dehabiliting. It can happen suddenly and be very painful. The most common spot for gout to occur is in the big toe. Although, it may spread to the ankles, feet, and knees.

Fortunately, gout is a very treatable condition. And we offer a variety of ways to treat the disease. When a gout attack occurs, it will often resolve on its own in about a week. Thus, many health professions focus on relieving the symptoms and preventing future incidents.

Medications are the most common go-to. NSAIDs, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, may alleviate swelling and pain. Your doctor may also prescribe stronger pain medication if over-the-counter drugs aren’t helping. Medications that help lower uric acid levels may also be considered. These type of medications help to prevent attacks by reducing the production of uric acid.

However, long-term use of most of these drugs is not recommended. Surprisingly, NSAIDs can have fairly dangerous side effects. With chronic use, heart problems may arise. Prescription NSAIDs are particularly problematic for this. You may experience gastro-intestinal issues. These medications may cause bleeding and ulcers when used for long-periods or at high dosages. Such medication may also lead to further impaired kidney function, which not only doesn’t help the problem but can amplify gout occurrences and symptoms. When using any medication, make sure to follow the direction on the label and read the warnings prior to consumption.

Your healthcare provider may also consider the medication you are currently taking and make modifications where it is necessary.

If your diet is the main problem, your healthcare provider may discuss other dietary options that do not increase your risk of gout. They will advise you to avoid foods high in purine and to drink plenty of water throughout your day.

Orthopaedic Care & Gout Treatment in Singapore

At the Singapore Sports and Orthopaedic Clinic, our experts can diagnose, treat, and prevent joint, neuro, and muscular disorders, such as gout. They can provide exercise and nutritional advice to help treat gout.

Your doctor will address your nutritional and lifestyle choices, in combination with manual manipulation of the joints to eliminate your pain, improve mobility, reduce the incidences of gout attacks, and help increase your overall quality of life.

Your healthcare provider may recommend the following foods to replace high-purine content foods in your diet:

  • Low fat dairy products
  • Vegetables
  • Legumes
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts
  • Water

Surgery is a rare option for treating gout. However, in cases where there is a lack of draining, the area has become infected, or movement is severely impacted, surgery may provide the best option.

Your healthcare provider may also recommend specific exercises to reduce joint pain and increase support to the commonly affected areas. Weaknesses in the body may lead to pain and conditions such as gout. Strengthening around these areas can lessen the pain symptoms associated with the condition. Weight management is also important to limit the stress placed on the joints that are prone to gout attacks. Your treatment will likely involve an exercise program tailored to your specific needs, including strengthening exercises and possible weight loss strategies.

Get the advice you need and the proper care and treatment for your condition. Frequent and painful gout attacks do not have to be your normal.

At the Singapore Sports and Orthopaedic Clinic, our qualified doctors will find the appropriate gout treatment in Singapore for you. Our team of doctors are experienced in treating orthopaedic problems, sport injuries, and degenerative changes.

Start your life free of pain. Get back to the activities you know and love. Call and book your appointment, today.

Bunions: Cause & Treatments

Bunions are bony humps that form at the base of the big toe. When this happens, the big toe will curve towards the other toes and cause the base of the toe to push towards the first metatarsal bone. It usually occurs at a joint and the entire body weight will be acting on it. This will result in tremendous pain and discomfort.

Causes

As we grow and develop, more pressure is acting on the foot due to the need to support the body’s entire weight. Therefore, it gets worse as age increases. Bunions is hereditary and will run in the family due to the fact that foot type and shape is hereditary. In some cases, bunions will develop with existing medical conditions such as arthritis. Women are also at a higher risk of suffering from bunions due to the fact that most women wear tight and ill-fitting high heeled shoes, pushing the foot bone into awkward positions for long periods of time.

Non-surgical treatment

Non-surgical is targeted to reduce pressure on the big toe and provide pain relief.

  • Wearing wide and comfortable shoes with sufficient space for toes to wriggle. The insoles should also provide good arch support.
  • Custom made orthotics will help to distribute the body’s weight equally throughout the foot and reduce any unnecessary pressure acting on the big toe.
  • Pain relief medication will provide instant pain relief for patients and bring down the swelling.
  • Ice is a cheap and effective method to reduce swelling and provide pain relief.

Surgical treatment

If non-surgical treatment does not provide adequate pain relief, daily activities such as walking can be severely hindered. In such cases, surgery may be the only option left. The main aim of bunion surgery is to straighten the curved toe bone and provide pain relief.

  • Bunionectomy is a bunion specific surgery and involves removal of part of the affected metatarsal head.
  • Osteotomy involves the cutting of bones located in the toe to prevent bone spurs from sticking out and re-alignment the soft tissues around the toe joint.
  • Resection arthroplasty is reserved for more serious cases and involve the removal of bone located at the end of the first metatarsal joining the metatarsophalangeal joint.

As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. A good pair of footwear is often all that is needed to prevent one from getting bunions. Selecting a pair of functional shoes over one that is aesthetically pleasing is a much sensible choice.

Neck Sprain: Cause & Treatments

The cervical vertebrae of the spine consist of seven bones that are connected to each other by strong fibrous tissues such as the ligaments, tendons and muscles. A sprain occurs when one of these tissues are stretched beyond its limit. This can happen during a sudden movement such as a car accident, causing the neck to bend to the extreme.

The neck is an extremely smart structure that is designed to house and protect our backbone – the spinal cord. The spinal cord provides support to our head and consists of millions of nerves that acts as signals and transmitters to relay messages from our brain to the rest of our body. However, it is also one of the weakest component of our body and the extreme flexibility that allows you to bend and touch your toes also leaves it vulnerable to impact.

Causes

There are several possible causes for a neck sprain:

  • Spending too much time in an awkward position such as hunching when using a computer for long periods
  • Sleeping in an awkward position without adequate support from a proper pillow
  • Sudden forceful impact such as during a car accident, causing whiplash
  • Working for long periods in the same position such as painting a ceiling for hours

Treatment

Our ligaments, tendons and muscles are designed to heal itself in a short time if it is minor.

  • Applying a cold pack will help to reduce inflammation, allowing the body time to heal. Ice pack should be applied every hour for the first 24 hours as this is the acute stage
  • Applying a heat pack will enhance blood circulation, allowing efficient blood exchange. Old blood containing dead cells will be drained off while new blood carrying large amounts of nutrients and oxygen will help to speed up the healing process
  • Anti-inflammatory medication will help to bring down the swelling and provide pain relief
  • Massaging the neck area will help to dissipate any blood clots that are formed and promote blood circulation
  • Hydrotherapy is a novel treatment method that uses salt to release muscle sprains. Magnesium which is found in the salt will reduce the rate of calcium binding following a muscle contracting
  • Acupuncture is a TCM technique stimulates specific acupuncture points to manipulate the flow of energy and provide restoration of joint mobility to the neck

Neck sprains are usually causes by activities that requires long periods of prolonged movement of the neck.

Bennett Fracture: Cause & Treatments

A Bennett fracture happens when the bone located at the base of the thumb dislocates and breaks. It can be due to a sudden trauma during high impact sports or accidents. A Bennett fracture will result in swelling of the thumb, pain and the inability to use the thumb. In this article, we will look at the causes and treatments for Bennett fractures.

Causes

The causes of a Bennett’s fracture can differ. However, it happens when the metacarpal bone located in the arm fractures and breaks. This can be due to any kind of forces that will result in a huge impact sufficient to break it.

Treatments

Treatment is classified into non-surgical and surgical. For minor cases where the bones are not misaligned, non-surgical will be more than sufficient. The initial stages of treatment will involve the famous RICE therapy – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Resting involves immobilising the injured hand and preventing any stresses on it. During this period, the patient is not allowed to participate in any activities. Several times a day, the injured thumb will need to be iced in order to bring down the swelling. To prevent swelling and loss of blood, compression finger sleeves may be worn. This will also help to retain body heat and enhance blood circulation. Lastly, the injured thumb needs to be elevated above the heart to drain away excess blood. Bracing and casting may be required depending on the activity level of individual patients.

Surgical treatment is also classified into invasive and minimally invasive. In minimally invasive surgery, a surgical wire will be inserted through a small incision aided by cameras. However, this method is highly dependent on the stability of the injury and the alignment of the metacarpal bone. If the bones fragments are scattered, an invasive surgery will need to be carried out in order to remove these bone fragments. A small screw will be used to hold the fragments together until they heal on their own. One popular surgical treatment is the Kirschner wire fixation. The K-wires are made up of surgical grade stainless steel and are temporary fixation tools. The pins are drilled into the bones and act as an anchor point for skeletal traction.

Unlike other injuries, Bennett’s fracture cannot really be prevented due to the various uses of the hand and the fingers. However, this fracture can be avoided to a certain extent using medical tapes to tape the thumb and index finger together.

 

 

 

Hamstring Muscle Injuries: Cause & Treatments

Hamstring injuries are a common occurrence in athletes. They are usually known as “pulled hamstring”. Sports requiring frequent sprinting such as soccer, rugby and basketball poses a higher risk of a hamstring injury. Hamstring injuries happen when the muscle location at the back of the thigh is injured in the form of a strain. Fortunately, this type of injury respond well to nonsurgical treatment. In this article, we will look at the causes and treatment methods for a pulled hamstring.

The main cause of a hamstring injury is due to overloading of the hamstring muscle. The hamstring is a tendon which is essentially a thick bundle of fibers. During a normal scenario, the tendon contracts and shortens and expands and extends. In unusual situations, this tendon contracts and extend due to the presence of an additional load or strain. When this situation happens, the hamstring is pulled, resulting in a hamstring muscle injury.

Treatment will vary depending on the severity of the injury. Most hamstring injuries can recover with nonsurgical treatment. The first treatment administered will be the RICE protocol – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Resting involves the usage of walking aids such as crutches to avoid placing weight on the injured leg. During this period, the patient is not allowed to participate in any activities. Several times a day, the injured leg needs to be iced in order to bring down the swelling. To prevent swelling and loss of blood, compression garments will need to be worn. This will also help to retain body heat and enhance blood circulation. Lastly, the injured leg needs to be elevated above the heart to drain away excess blood. Once pain and swelling has subsided, a series of physical therapy sessions will be planned for in order to regain strength and range of motion to slowly help return back to sports.

If nonsurgical treatment does not help, surgery will be required. This is usually for cases where the hamstring tendon has been completely torn from the bone. To repair the torn tendon, the hamstring muscle must be located and placed back to its original location. Due to this injury, the body naturally forms scar tissues at the injury site and this must be removed as well. After that, the tendon will be reattached back using biodegradable sutures. This is followed by an intense rehabilitation period lasting at least 3 months.

Patients with hamstring injuries are able to fully recover after completing their rehabilitation plan. Most are able to return back to their pre-injury level and enjoy their favorite sport.

 

Olecranon Fractures: Treatment & Management

Our elbow is a complex hinge joint made up of three different bones. It can also perform various functions. The elbow is able to bend and straighten up, rotate and turning up and down. When you try to bend your elbow, the sharp tip protruding out is called the olecranon. Olecranon fractures are injuries that affect the particular bone.

Treatment

After a patient suffers from an Olecranon fracture, the first thing a doctor will administer is ice and pain relief medication followed by elbow immobilization. The doctor will then determine if surgery is required depending on the extent of the fracture.

Nonsurgical treatment

Patients who do not have a severe fracture will not be required to undergo surgery. Nonsurgical treatment is fairly straightforward. The patient will need to immobilize the fractured elbow using a splint or sling during the healing process. The patient will also need to visit the hospital once a week for X-ray imaging to monitor the healing process. If there are no protruding bone fragments, movement will resume after a month. During the healing process, a physiotherapist will be assigned to teach basic strengthening exercises. If the fracture shifts during this process, the patient will eventually surgery to piece the bones together.

Surgical treatment

Surgery will be needed for patients who have serious fractures such as an open fracture or displaced fracture. In a displaced fracture, the fracture is out of place. This is due to the strong attachment of the bicep muscles to the olecranon. Once the fracture is out of place, the elbow will be unable to straighten at all. An open fracture on the other hand means that the bone fragments have cut the skin, leading to an increased risk of infection. This is a much more serious condition and patients will be administered with antibiotics and tetanus shot. An incision will be made at the back of the elbow where the surgeon will piece the bone fragments together again. Large pieces of bones may be joined together using pins, wires, screws or plates and these metal implants can be permanent or biodegradable.

Management

Following surgery, rehabilitation will be required in order to regain the elbow to its previous condition. As the healing process is lengthy, bone resorption could have taken place. As such, the region is much weaker. A physiotherapist will thus concentrate on regaining bone mass and muscular strength in the elbow.

Scoliosis: Symptoms & Treatments

Our spine is the structure that gives our body its shape and provide support to it. The entire spinal column consists of multiple small bones stacked together. The spine is designed to be curved naturally although it looks straight when it is viewed from the front. In fact, there are two S-curves at the spine. Scoliosis is a medical problem arising from the abnormal curvature of the spine. Patients who suffer from scoliosis have got spine that looks curved even when viewed from the front. Research has shown that scoliosis are more prevalent in females than males and affects 3 out of 1000 people.

As mentioned above, patients with scoliosis have an abnormal curvature of their spine. As such, this is the most common and obvious symptom. The curving of the spine occurs at an extremely slow pace and thus is easy to miss out until it really becomes severe. The easiest way to be spotted with it is during periodic medical examinations during primary and secondary school. In some patients, scoliosis may also cause their head to the slanted to one side or one of the shoulder to be slightly higher than the other side. In serious cases, the heart and lungs cannot work efficiently and this will lead to the shortness of breath and chest pains.

Treatment of scoliosis really depends on how severe it is towards the patient. Treatment is classified into 3 general groups: observation, bracing and surgery. In patients with mild symptom, they will only be observed for a period of time to spot any changes of the curve getting worse.

Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is the most common form of scoliosis. If the curve is small when first diagnosed, it can be observed and followed with routine X-rays and measurements. If the curve stays below 25 degrees, no other treatment is needed. You may return to see the doctor every three to four months to check for any worsening of the curve. Additional X-rays may be repeated each year to obtain new measurements and check for progression of the curve. If the curve is between 25-40 degrees and you are still growing, a brace may be recommended. Bracing is not recommended for people who have finished growing. If the curve is greater than 40 degrees, then surgery may be recommended.

Although there is currently no cure for scoliosis, there are good treatment methods that are effective. As the saying goes, prevention is always better than cure.

Ligament Tear: Symptoms & Treatments

Our knee is supported by 4 main ligaments – anterior ruciate ligament (ACL), medial collateral ligament (MCL), lateral collateral ligament (LCL) and the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). Each of the ligament plays a different role in ensuring the stability of the knee. However, due to various reasons, the ligaments can be torn. Rupture of the ligament can be a partial one or a full one and this will affect the treatment administered. A ligament tear will also bring about instability in the knee and the inability for it to bear weight, causing problems when walking. In this article, we will look at some of the symptoms and treatments for ligament tears.

The role of each ligament differs:

The role of the ACL is to stabilise the knee joint by restriciting forward back backwards movement of the knee. It is designed to prevent the tibia bone from moving in front of the femur. The role of the MCL is to protect the knee against any sudden and/or unwanted forces that is directed at the side of the knee. It restricts the sideway movement of the knee. The LCL works in conjunction with the MCL to restrict sideway movement and it protects against sudden forces that is directed at the inside of the knee. Lastly, the PCL works together with the ACL to control forward and backward movements of the knee.

An injured ligament will bring about symtoms that are similar to each other:

·As a general rule of thumb, a partially torn ligament will not bring about a pop sound while a fully ruptured one will produce a pop sound. A fully torn one will also create instant instability and the knee will give way.

·Swelling will occur and the injured knee may start to turn purple due to the lack of proper blood flow to the area. Swelling occurs due to a build up of blood from the injured ligament.

·The knee will be unable to function properly and you may feel that you are unable to control it.

·Tenderness will onset when you touch the knee.

The first step in treatment is to pay the PRICE:

·Protect the knee from further movements

·Resting the knee immediately following injury for at least 48 hours. If you need to move around, consider using crutches or walkers to prevent bearing weight on the injured knee.

·Ice will bring down swelling and reduce inflammation. Always try to ice the area every hour by using a cold compress or simply by wrapping knee in a towel and applying it locally.

·Compress the knee with a bandage to reduce swelling and prevent excessive movements.

·Elevate the knee to above your heart level to reduce swelling. This will cause excessive blood to flow away due to gravity towards your heart.