Total knee replacement (TKR) is a surgical procedure that replaces a damaged or worn-out knee joint with an artificial joint made of metal and plastic components. This procedure is typically recommended for people who have severe knee pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility due to arthritis, injury, or other conditions that affect the knee joint.
In Singapore, TKR is a standard procedure experienced orthopaedic doctors and foot and ankle specialists perform. However, only some are suitable candidates for TKR. In this article, we will discuss who is a candidate for total knee replacement in Singapore and how to find the right doctor for the procedure.
Who Is A Candidate For Total Knee Replacement?
People with severe knee pain and stiffness
Suppose you have persistent knee pain that affects your daily activities, such as walking, standing, and climbing stairs. It does not respond to non-surgical treatments, such as physical therapy, medications, and injections. In that case, you may be a candidate for TKR.
People with knee joint damage due to arthritis or injury
If you have arthritis, an inflammatory condition that damages the knee joint’s cartilage and causes inflammation and pain, or you have suffered a knee injury that has caused significant damage to the joint, you may benefit from TKR.
People with reduced knee mobility
If you have difficulty bending or straightening your knee or cannot fully extend or flex your knee joint, you may be a candidate for TKR. This procedure can help restore your knee’s normal range of motion and improve your mobility.
People who have failed to respond to non-surgical treatments
Suppose you have tried various non-surgical treatments for knee pain, such as physical therapy, medications, injections, and lifestyle modifications, which have not provided significant relief. In that case, you may be a candidate for TKR.
People who have a significant impact on their quality of life
If knee pain and stiffness severely impact your quality of life, preventing you from enjoying daily activities, such as walking, exercising, and socialising, and affecting your mental health, you may benefit from TKR.
Risk Factors for Complications That Require Total Knee Replacement
While there is no specific age limit for total knee replacement, older adults may be at a higher risk for complications during and after the surgery. However, age alone should not be the sole determining factor, as the decision to undergo TKR should be based on an individual’s overall health and functional status.
Excess body weight can put additional stress on the knee joint, making it more prone to damage and degeneration. Therefore, people who are overweight or obese may be more likely to benefit from TKR, as it can help alleviate knee pain and improve mobility.
Individuals with a history of medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease may have an increased risk of complications during and after surgery. However, these factors should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and a qualified orthopaedic doctor can help determine if TKR is appropriate.
Lifestyle factors such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and poor nutrition can also affect the success of total knee replacement surgery. Therefore, individuals considering TKR should improve their overall health and lifestyle habits to optimise their chances of a successful outcome.
Finding The Right Doctor For Total Knee Replacement
If you are considering TKR, you must find a qualified and experienced orthopaedic doctor or foot and ankle specialist in Singapore who can provide personalised care and support throughout the procedure.
Here are some tips for finding the right doctor for TKR:
Look for a doctor who specialises in knee replacement surgery.
Choose a doctor with extensive experience and training in knee replacement surgery and a track record of successful outcomes. You can ask for referrals from your primary care doctor, friends, or family members who have undergone TKR.
Check the doctor’s credentials and qualifications.
Ensure that the doctor is board-certified, licensed to practise in Singapore, and has undergone rigorous training and education in orthopaedic surgery and knee replacement.
Schedule a consultation with the doctor.
During the consultation, ask the doctor about their experience with TKR, their approach to the procedure, the risks and benefits, the expected outcome, and the recovery process. Also, discuss any concerns or questions you may have about the procedure.
Consider the hospital or clinic where the surgery will be performed
Choose a hospital or clinic well-equipped with advanced technology, has a high success rate in TKR, and offers comprehensive post-operative care and support.
Follow the doctor’s instructions for pre-operative and post-operative care
It is essential to follow the doctor’s instructions for preparing for the surgery, such as stopping certain medications and fasting, and post-operative care, such as physical therapy, wound care, and pain management.
In summary, total knee replacement surgery can be life-changing for individuals with severe knee pain and reduced mobility due to arthritis, injury, or other conditions affecting the knee joint. However, the decision to undergo TKR should be based on an individual’s overall health and functional status. A qualified orthopaedic doctor or foot and ankle specialist in Singapore can help determine if TKR is appropriate. By considering these factors and following the doctor’s instructions for pre-operative and post-operative care, individuals can achieve a successful outcome and improve their quality of life.
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