The body is composed of a complex series of bones, muscles, and soft tissues, all of which provide support and mobility that are crucial to our daily independent living. However, musculoskeletal conditions can impair our comfort, movement and function. This is where an orthopaedic specialist comes in.
What Is Orthopaedics?
Orthopaedics is a medical specialty focusing on the care of the musculoskeletal system and its complex structures. It includes diagnosing and treating problems affecting the bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints and nerves.
Who Are Orthopaedic Doctors?
Orthopaedic doctors are doctors who focus on the care of the musculoskeletal system. They have in-depth expertise in diagnosing orthopaedic problems, prescribing surgical and non-surgical treatments, assisting with rehabilitation and recommending disease prevention.
What Areas Fall Under Orthopaedic Surgery?
Orthopaedic doctors in Singapore are trained in the treatment of conditions across different sub-fields, such as:
- Hip and Knee
- Shoulder and Elbow
- Foot and Ankle
- Trauma Surgery
- Sports Medicine, such as at a sports orthopaedic clinic
What Happens at an Orthopaedic Appointment?
A Singapore orthopaedic surgeon will strive to diagnose your condition accurately, alleviate symptoms, and treat you effectively so that you can return to normal activities as soon as possible. In order to properly diagnose a patient’s condition, the orthopaedic specialist will do the following:
- Medical History - The doctor will evaluate the patient's medical history, symptoms, and previous testing.
- Diagnostics - The doctor may recommend a physical examination and diagnostic tests, including X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans, depending on the circumstances.
- Treatment - Upon close analysis of the patient’s condition, the doctor will formulate a personalised treatment plan, which may include either conservative or surgical means.
How Do You Choose the Right Orthopaedic Surgeon for You?
If you are seeking a good orthopaedic surgeon in Singapore, consider the following factors:
- Check for the Doctor’s Credentials - MOH accreditation and having undergone a reputable medical training ensures that the doctor is trustworthy and skilled.
- Find out about the Hospital or Clinic’s Facilities - Patients should receive quality care at the sports orthopaedic clinic or hospital where their doctor practices.
- Read Patient Reviews - Reviews from patients offer valuable insight about the doctor's practice, the scheduling process and the orthopaedic clinic’s environment, as well as the doctor's personality and bedside manner.
- Check Insurance Coverage - Be sure to check if the clinic accepts your form of insurance so that you can receive treatment with a peace of mind.
What Are Some Common Orthopaedic Problems in Singapore?
- Lower Back Pain - This is a common orthopaedic problem that occurs following a back injury caused by strenuous activity.
- Knee Pain - People of all ages can develop knee pain due to a range of factors. Most commonly, this condition is caused by ageing, trauma, or overuse.
- Hamstring Injuries - A hamstring injury involves a tear in the muscle of the thigh's posterior region. Athletes, particularly those who play soccer or football, are prone to such injuries.
- Plantar Fasciitis - This refers to inflammation of the ligament connecting the heel to the foot (plantar fascia).
- Hip Fracture - A fracture in the hip results from the breaking of the upper part of the thigh bone (femur). Hip fractures can occur at any age following a severe impact or sudden fall.
- Scoliosis - It is a deformity of the spine in the form of a C-or S-shaped curve that most often occurs in adolescents.
- ACL (Anterior cruciate ligament) injury - ACL injury is the overstretching or tearing of the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee. A tear may be partial or complete.
- Arthritis - Arthritis is characterised by swelling of the joints, causing difficulty in moving. The severity of joint pain and stiffness increases with age.
Who Should Undergo Orthopaedic Surgery?
A doctor might recommend orthopaedic surgery if conservative treatments like medications and physiotherapy cannot provide adequate or lasting relief for a patient; such as those with degenerative joint disease or severe injuries that cannot be healed without surgery. This may include conditions such as open bone fractures, ACL tears and osteoarthritis.
What Are the Risks of Orthopaedic Surgery?
Though uncommon, common risks involved in orthopaedic surgery include:
- Wound Infection
- Excessive Bleeding
- Nerve Injury
- Blood Vessel Injury
However, in the hands of an experienced Singapore orthopaedic surgeon and proper aftercare, complications arising from surgery are rare.
At Axis Orthopaedic Centre, we are committed to delivering quality orthopaedic care with the goal of improving our patients' quality of life. Our orthopaedic clinic, led by Dr Seng Chusheng, provides comprehensive and individualised treatment plans designed to treat a wide range of orthopaedic conditions, including bunions, ankle sprains, and plantar fasciitis. To schedule a consultation, please contact us at 9711 8888.