Dr Tan Sok Chuen was sharing Solutions to Hip & Knee Problems 髋关节和膝关节 with DJ Anna Lim (安娜) and listeners of 96.3好FM Chinese Programme 健康娜件事 on 15 April.
Listen to the podcast here.
For a summary:
Dr Tan Sok Chuen from The Orthopaedic Centre (Orchard), Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre appeared on a radio interview where she shared about Solutions to Hip & Knee Problems 髋关节和膝关节 with DJ Anna Lim (安娜) and listeners of 96.3好FM Chinese Programme 健康娜件事 on 15 April. She started off with her childhood ambition is to be a surgeon as she could have a direct impact on improving patients conditions which give her a sense of satisfaction.
During her training days, it seems that she was the only female among a predominantly male specialization. Although there aren’t any other female doctors she said it is satisfying whenever younger female surgeons ask her about her how she becomes a hip and knee surgeon and the challenges associated.
Most Asian women suffer from knee osteoarthritis as compared to women in the Western countries, in Singapore knee, joint problems are more common. In addition, genetics and alcoholism play a huge part in hip joint problem long term usage of steroids, some existing conditions and obesity are also contributing factors.
Based on medical records degeneration is the most common cause. A typical example will be a 60-65 woman who is slightly obese and neglected her knee joint even when there is pain. Eventually, the cartilage within the knee will deteriorate and in serious case the knee will be deformed, leading to limping making it difficult to move around.
So they will just sit in front of their TV and not move around within the prevalence of food delivery services there isn’t really a need of ever leaving their homes, in the long run, the muscles will deteriorate. Moreover, if treatment is delayed, even if they undergo surgery the effects will not be as good and unable to be restored to as good as before.
Diagnosis & Treatment
At present times, medical information is readily available so patients will seek treatment when they are still healthy. Normally after having some symptoms for a couple of years, they seek medical consultation and the doctor will do an X-Ray to determine the knees’ extent of deterioration. If there isn’t any cartilage left and the bones are rubbing against each other causing pain, the orthopaedist will recommend knee replacement surgery.
In recent years such surgeries aren’t considered as major surgeries because it can be within 1-2 hours as it isn’t that complicated. Patients are normally discharged within 5 days, most are able to get out of bed and walk. Contrary to what they assumed that post-surgery they have to be 3 months bed-bound and be care given. Actually most patients are surprised they could walk after 2 days and toileting with walking aid for 2 months and some could even cook and do not need a caregiver.
Although the average age of onset is 60-65, due to the problem of obesity, there are some with very serious osteoarthritis at the age of 50. However at the age of 60 women are more prone to osteoporosis due to genetics, but it is not 100% related but it is interconnected in some ways.
The route to recovery normally takes about 3 months but it must be coupled with regular physiotherapy. Normally people always think that knee joint replacement will only last for 10 years but with the current rate of medical advancements and the availability of robotic surgery the artificial knee joint could last roughly 20 years on average.
In the closing segment, she proceeded to answer various questions from radio listeners.