Experiencing Knee Pain?

Knee pain is a common discomfort that can be experienced by anyone regardless of age. It may originate in any of the bony structures comprising the knee joint – this includes the femur, tibia, and fibula -, the kneecap (also known as patella), or the ligaments and cartilage (meniscus) of the knee. Minor knee pains can be easily alleviated through self-care measures. However, if the case is too severe, one may need to undergo a knee surgery.

Causes of Knee Pain

Knee pain can be classified into three major categories – Acute Injury, Medical Conditions, and Chronic Use / Overuse Conditions.

Acute Injury

Acute injuries include fractured bones caused by direct trauma to the knee. Not only is this very painful, but it can also interfere with the knee’s proper functions. ACL or Anterior Cruciate Ligament is a common acute injury that affects the ligaments and is most often caused by sports-related activities. Another acute injury is a meniscus tear; This occurs when the knee is twisted causing the meniscus to tear. And lastly, is a dislocation of the knee joint. This acute injury compromises blood flow to the leg and requires immediate medical attention.

Medical Conditions

Medical conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Gout, and Septic Arthritis are other problems that can cause knee pain. These conditions can affect any joint in the body and are usually accompanied by severe pain, swelling, disability and reduced function.

Chronic Use / Overuse Conditions

Patellar tendinitis and Patellofemoral pain syndromes are knee conditions triggered by the repetition of the same motion during exercise or other strenuous activities. These are most common among runners and cyclists. On the other hand, Osteoarthritis is a chornic degenerative condition that results from wearing down of the cartilage of the joint due to frequent use and age.


Depending on the severity, location, and the cause – whether it is due to injury or a medical condition – of the knee pain, the discomfort a person feels may vary. If it is an infection or an inflammatory process, the whole knee might appear red, swollen and tender to touch. If it is a torn meniscus or a fractured bone, symptoms may be more localised, or the knee may still be swollen and painful.

Other common indications that accompany knee pain includes the following:

  • Stiffness,
  • Redness and warm to the touch,
  • Incapable to fully straighten or bend the knee,
  • Difficulty in walking (especially up or down staircases due to ligament damage), and
  • Popping or crunching noises

Since symptoms of knee pain usually varies, self-diagnosis and medication can be risky. When you are already experiencing extreme discomfort in the knees, it is important that you schedule an appointment with an orthopaedic doctor as soon as you can.


Depending on what exactly causes the knee pain, recommended treatments or procedures may vary. The doctor can prescribe medications to help lessen the pain and treat underlying conditions. Physical therapy may also help in strengthening the muscles surrounding the knees.

In some cases, the doctor may also suggest the injecting of medications directly into the knee joints. Some of these include corticosteroids which help reduce arthritis flares, hyaluronic acid which helps to lubricate the joints to improve mobility, or platelet-rich plasma (PRP) that lessens inflammation due to mild arthritis and may also promote recovery.

When the injury to the knee is already too severe that it may not be fully treated through non-surgical means, then knee surgery will be an option. Here at Ardmore Orthopaedics, we offer three types of surgical procedures for the knee:
Arthroscopic Surgery

Using a fiber-optic camera and several long, narrow tools inserted through small incisions, our Orthopaedic Surgeon will remove loose bodies from the knee joint, repair the damaged cartilage that causes the knee to lock, and reconstruct all the torn ligaments.

Partial Knee Replacement Surgery

In this surgical procedure, our Orthopaedic Surgeon replaces the damaged portion of the knee with new parts made from plastic and metal. This procedure can be performed through small incisions, making the recovery and healing process quick and with less pain. The selection criteria for a partial knee replacement however, is more strict and stringent.

Total Knee Replacement Surgery

Our Orthopaedic Surgeon removes the damaged bone and cartilage and replaces it with an artificial joint made of metal alloys, high-grade plastics, and polymers. This surgical procedure will take a slightly longer time to heal compared to the partial knee replacement surgery.

FAQs on Knee Pain

  • How do I know if my knee pain is serious?

    Knee pain is typically considered serious when it is severe and disabling, usually caused by direct trauma or an accident, and is accompanied by redness, swelling or tenderness in the knee. Visit a Singapore knee surgery centre if the knee pain persists or worsens.

  • When should you not ignore knee pain?

    Knee surgeons in Singapore encourage anyone experiencing knee pain to seek medical attention for prompt treatment. Other indications that knee pain should not be ignored is when there is swelling, pain when walking, sitting, sleeping or exercising, and when the knee joint clicks, locks or pops.

  • How should I sleep with knee pain?

    To help alleviate the pain, knee surgeons advise patients to sleep with a pillow between the knees (if sleeping on their sides) or under the knees (if sleeping on their back). Propping up a bent knee on a pillow is discouraged as this can make it difficult to unbend the leg in the morning.

  • Why is knee pain worse at night?

    According to some Singapore knee surgeons, knee pain seems to be worse at night possibly because of the lowered production of cortisol (an anti-inflammatory hormone) at night. Additionally, staying in the same position for a long period of time stiffens up the joint. Not being engaged in any other activity during that time can also make one more likely to notice pain.

FAQs on Knee Surgery

  • What is the most common type of knee surgery?

    Knee replacement, ACL reconstruction and meniscus repair are some of the most common knee surgery in Singapore. Many cases of knee surgery can be done via arthroscopy, a minimally invasive procedure that requires a few small incisions around the joint, resulting in a faster recovery and reduced scarring.

  • How long will it take to recover from knee surgery?

    The usual recovery time from a knee surgery procedure in Singapore is around 12 weeks to 3 months, depending on the type of surgery and the patient’s compliance with proper post-surgical care and rehabilitation.

  • Is knee surgery very painful?

    As anaesthesia is used during a Singapore knee surgery procedure, patients will not be in any pain. After the surgery, pain medications and rehabilitation care will be given to facilitate healing and offer pain relief.

  • Can you walk after a knee surgery?

    For most patients, it is possible to start walking slowly within hours following a Singapore knee replacement procedure, but with assistance from others or walking aids. Most patients will also be able to start walking without crutches from around three weeks, depending on the type of surgery and adherence to proper rehabilitation.

  • At what age is a knee replacement procedure done?

    Most knee replacement procedures in Singapore are done on those who are between the ages of 60 to 80.

  • What are the things to avoid after undergoing a knee surgery procedure?

    Knee pain treatment centres in Singapore recommend their patient to refrain from strenuous activities such as running and heavy lifting until medically cleared by their knee surgeon. They should also avoid sitting on chairs that are too low, or sitting still for a prolonged period (movement in moderation is key to recovery).

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If you have further enquiries or would like to make an appointment at Ardmore Orthopaedic Clinic, simply fill in the form below or call us at +65 9631 7637. We will get back to you as soon as possible.