Knee Pain: Causes, Symptoms, and Expert Solutions in Singapore

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What is Knee Pain?

Knee pain is a prevalent orthopaedic concern affecting individuals of all ages in Singapore. Whether due to sports injuries, age-related degeneration, or underlying medical conditions, understanding the causes, symptoms, and available treatments is crucial for effective pain management and improved quality of life.

Definition of Knee Pain

Knee pain refers to the discomfort experienced in the knee joint, which connects the upper leg bone and the lower leg bones. This joint comprises ligaments for stability, tendons and muscles for movement, and cartilage discs for shock absorption. Factors such as everyday wear and tear, excess weight, injury and high-impact sports can contribute to stress and degeneration of any part of the knee, leading to pain. Additionally, certain conditions, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, and gout, can contribute to chronic knee pain. Persistent knee pain with symptoms like swelling, stiffness, inability to bend or bear weight on the knee, redness, and snapping sensation warrants prompt medical attention. To receive a proper diagnosis, it is recommended that individuals seek treatment from an orthopaedic specialist.

The components of a knee joint and what a healthy knee joint should look like.

Common Causes of Knee Pain

Knee pain is a prevalent orthopaedic concern affecting individuals of all ages in Singapore. Whether due to sports injuries, age-related degeneration, or underlying medical conditions, understanding the causes, symptoms, and available treatments is crucial for effective pain management and improved quality of life.

Osteoarthritis

A leading cause of knee pain, osteoarthritis occurs due to the breakdown of joint cartilage over time, leading to pain, stiffness, and swelling.

Sports Injuries

Including ACL tears, meniscus tears, and patellar tendonitis, often seen in athletes or active individuals.

Overuse and Strain

Repetitive activities or improper biomechanics can strain knee structures, causing pain and inflammation.

Bursitis and Tendonitis

Inflammation of bursae (fluid-filled sacs) or tendons around the knee due to overuse or trauma.

Meniscus Tears

Common in twisting or sudden movements, leading to pain, swelling, and limited knee mobility.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

An autoimmune condition affecting the joints, causing pain, swelling, and joint damage in the knees and other areas.

Symptoms of Knee Pain

  • Pain: Persistent or intermittent pain in the knee joint, worsened by activity or prolonged sitting/standing.
  • Swelling and Redness: Visible swelling or redness around the knee, indicating inflammation or injury.
  • Stiffness and Limited Mobility: Difficulty bending or straightening the knee fully, especially after rest or in the morning.
  • Clicking or Popping Sensation: Audible or palpable sounds within the knee joint, often associated with meniscus injuries or arthritis.
  • Instability: Feeling of the knee giving way or feeling unstable during weight-bearing activities, suggesting ligamentous or structural issues.

Diagnostic Methods for Knee Pain

If you are experiencing knee pain that has been compromising your quality of life, a good starting point would be to consult an orthopaedic specialist for a proper diagnosis.
  • Medical History Taking: Gathering information about the patient’s medical history, including previous injuries, surgeries, and medical conditions that may contribute to knee pain.
  • Physical Examination: Conducting a thorough physical examination of the knee joint to assess range of motion, stability, strength, and signs of inflammation or injury.
  • Imaging Tests: Ordering imaging tests such as X-rays, MRI scans, or CT scans to visualise the internal structures of the knee joint, including bones, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons, to identify any abnormalities or damage.
  • Laboratory Tests: Performing blood tests or joint fluid analysis to rule out infections, inflammatory conditions, or systemic diseases that may contribute to knee pain.
  • Diagnostic Injections: Administering diagnostic injections such as corticosteroids or local anaesthetics into the knee joint to help identify the source of pain and confirm specific diagnoses, such as arthritis or bursitis.
By combining these diagnostic methods, orthopaedic surgeons can accurately identify the underlying cause of knee pain and develop tailored treatment plans for their patients.

Effective Treatments for Knee Pain in Singapore

Please note the list below is not exhauastive, and it would be best to consult an Orthopaedic Specialist to diagnose and plan a line of treatment.

  • Medications: Pain relievers, anti-inflammatories, and injections (steroids or hyaluronic acid) provide relief and reduce inflammation.
  • Bracing and Orthotics: Supportive devices relieve pressure, correct alignment, and aid in joint protection.
  • Radio Frequency Ablation: Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for the knee is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat chronic knee pain, particularly pain arising from the nerves surrounding the knee joint.
  • Physical Therapy: Customised exercises from personalised rehabilitation programmes improve knee strength, flexibility, and stability.
  • Arthroscopy: Keyhole surgery for repairing meniscus tears, removing damaged tissue, or addressing ligament injuries with minimal tissue disruption.
  • PRP Therapy: Platelet-rich plasma injections stimulate natural healing processes, which are ideal for tendon or ligament injuries.
  • Partial or Total Knee Replacement: Advanced surgical options for severe osteoarthritis or joint damage, restoring function and relieving pain effectively.

As part of a personalised treatment plan, doctors may suggest various options based on the knee’s condition, ranging from conservative to surgical approaches. At Alps Orthopaedic Centre, Dr Jerry Chen specialises in surgical and non-surgical treatments for knee pain as well as in ERAS (Enhanced Recovery After Surgery) Total Knee Replacement Day Surgery. The ERAS surgical approach aims to enable patients to go back to activities that they love by minimising the recovery period.

Overall, an ERAS Total Knee Replacement patient can expect to walk with aid on the same evening of the surgery. However, take note that each patient’s recovery from knee replacement surgery varies based on factors like age, physical health, and the extent of joint damage.

Read more about ERAS in the article Enhanced Recovery Total Knee Replacement and learn more about partial knee replacement in this Unicompartmental Knee Arthroplasty page.

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Dr Jerry Chen

MBBS (S’pore), MRCSEd, MMed (Ortho), FRCSEd (Ortho)

Fellowship-trained Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon & Medical Director

Why Alps Orthopaedic Centre?

At Alps Orthopaedic Centre, we specialise in Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS). Performed as a Day Surgery, the ERAS Direct Anterior Approach in Total Hip Replacement (THR) technique as well as ERAS Total Knee Replacement (TKR), reduces the average hospitalisation stay, utilising techniques which enable the patient to suffer from less pain and recover faster. We are an Orthopaedic clinic in Singapore, which specialises in ERAS and do our utmost to enable patients to return to everyday activities as early as possible. 

Our Orthopaedic clinic provides specialised diagnosis and effective treatment of musculoskeletal problems, especially Day Surgery / Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) For Hip and Knee Surgery, Sports Injuries and Trauma Fractures. If you are considering hip or knee surgery or minimally invasive treatments, book an appointment with our experienced Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr Jerry Chen, for a thorough assessment and treatment plan. 

Our aim is to boost patient well-being, optimising every aspect of the surgical journey. By minimising the recovery period, patients are able to go back to activities that they love. The Alps team offers comprehensive financial counselling sessions to ensure our patients understand their options and make informed decisions regarding their treatment plans.

Has this article been insightful? Share it!

Dr Jerry Chen

MBBS (S’pore), MRCSEd, MMed (Ortho), FRCSEd (Ortho)

Fellowship-trained Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon & Medical Director

Why Alps Orthopaedic Centre?

At Alps Orthopaedic Centre, we specialise in Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS). Performed as a Day Surgery, the ERAS Direct Anterior Approach in Total Hip Replacement (THR) technique as well as ERAS Total Knee Replacement (TKR), reduces the average hospitalisation stay, utilising techniques which enable the patient to suffer from less pain and recover faster. We are an Orthopaedic clinic in Singapore, which specialises in ERAS and do our utmost to enable patients to return to everyday activities as early as possible. 

Our Orthopaedic clinic provides specialised diagnosis and effective treatment of musculoskeletal problems, especially Day Surgery / Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) For Hip and Knee Surgery, Sports Injuries and Trauma Fractures. If you are considering hip or knee surgery or minimally invasive treatments, book an appointment with our experienced Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr Jerry Chen, for a thorough assessment and treatment plan. 

Our aim is to boost patient well-being, optimising every aspect of the surgical journey. By minimising the recovery period, patients are able to go back to activities that they love. The Alps team offers comprehensive financial counselling sessions to ensure our patients understand their options and make informed decisions regarding their treatment plans.

Has this article been insightful? Share it!

Dr Jerry Chen

MBBS (S’pore), MRCSEd, MMed (Ortho), FRCSEd (Ortho)

Fellowship-trained Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon & Medical Director

Why Alps Orthopaedic Centre?

At Alps Orthopaedic Centre, we specialise in Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS). Performed as a Day Surgery, the ERAS Direct Anterior Approach in Total Hip Replacement (THR) technique as well as ERAS Total Knee Replacement (TKR), reduces the average hospitalisation stay, utilising techniques which enable the patient to suffer from less pain and recover faster. We are an Orthopaedic clinic in Singapore, which specialises in ERAS and do our utmost to enable patients to return to everyday activities as early as possible. 

Our Orthopaedic clinic provides specialised diagnosis and effective treatment of musculoskeletal problems, especially Day Surgery / Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) For Hip and Knee Surgery, Sports Injuries and Trauma Fractures. If you are considering hip or knee surgery or minimally invasive treatments, book an appointment with our experienced Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr Jerry Chen, for a thorough assessment and treatment plan. 

Our aim is to boost patient well-being, optimising every aspect of the surgical journey. By minimising the recovery period, patients are able to go back to activities that they love. The Alps team offers comprehensive financial counselling sessions to ensure our patients understand their options and make informed decisions regarding their treatment plans.