Osteoarthritis Treatment Singapore

Why Do I Have Osteoarthritis?

Many people suffer from joint aches, pain and stiffness caused by osteoarthritis.
It is one of the most common causes of finger, hip and knee arthritis.
When osteoarthritis affects the neck and back, it is known to as cervical (neck) and lumber (low back) spondylosis.

Osteoarthritis is a non-inflammatory arthritis characterized by pain and disability.
It is the commonest type of arthritis and is also known as a ‘degenerative disease’ because it is associated with wear and tear of the joint.
It affects a person’s life for the long term and can be very distressing if not properly treated.

While osteoarthritis is more common in older people, younger patients who have previous trauma to their joints can also develop osteoarthritis.
People with increased body weight as well as those with genetic and occupational factors are also at risk.

Osteoarthritis can cause very significant personal distress, making it hard to walk, needing time off work, affect a person’s social interactions and result in depressed mood.

Osteoarthritis Clinic Singapore

What Should I Do?

Always consult your doctor if you observe the following features:

  • Joint aches, pain and stiffness which has developed over months or years
  • Fluctuating symptoms giving you good days (without or with less pain) and bad days (with more pain)
  • Discomfort related to movement and weight bearing, such as squatting and going up and down the stairs
  • Symptoms relieved with rest
  • Your joint feels stiff on getting up in the morning but only for a brief period
  • Only some joints are affected
  • Pain and stiffness is accompanied by a grinding sensation in your joint.

Do I Need To Do an X-ray or MRI?

Many mild cases can usually be well managed by an experienced doctor who can provide a clinical diagnosis based on a patients clinical history and physical examination.
In cases where the initial treatments have not been effective, an X-ray would be a cost effective way to confirm the diagnosis.
In rare cases, an MRI could also be useful to provide a precise diagnosis and exclude other causes of joint pain.

How Can Osteoarthritis Be Treated?

For many patients, osteoarthritis treatment in Singapore will likely include rest and medications for a short period of time. Long term medications are less likely to be curative and risk potential side effects.
Physiotherapy when properly applied is another well accepted option.
Using techniques such as manual therapy, stretches and muscle strengthening exercises, it can have a good result in many patients.

Joint injection with viscosupplementation are sometimes suggested as a “lubricant” to the joint.
However recent medical opinion indicate that the benefit of viscosupplementation on pain and function in patients is minimal.

“Do not offer intra-articular hyaluronan injections for the management of osteoarthritis.” [2014], National Institute for Health and Care Excellence ,UK
Glucosamine based joint supplements have also become very popular over the past few years.
However, years of clinical experience have also now shown them to be of very limited benefit.

“Do not offer glucosamine or chondroitin products for the management of osteoarthritis.” [2014] National Institute for Health and Care Excellence ,UK
Some doctors might also recommend steroidal injections.

Why Are My Treatments Not Working?

When the previous osteoarthritis treatments are not successful, we often find a few common factors:

    • The previous diagnosis was not precise. Imaging scans and clinical experience can often be very helpful in these cases.
    • Treatment was prescribed which took into account only one aspect of the condition. e.g., treating only the inflammatory component of degenerative knee osteoarthritis using painkillers without addressing the underlying wear and tear.
    • Limited available options available. Patients were only offered painkillers and glucosamine instead of newer medical solutions.
    • Patients were offered impractical treatment plans which they could not accept. Common examples include being offered expensive and frequent treatments for extended periods.

Is Surgery Necessary?

In very advanced cases of osteoarthritis, joint replacement surgery is a viable option.
In most other cases, even where pain and stiffness are severe or have been present for a long time, there are multiple non-surgical options that a patient should first consider.
As surgery can have significant risks and cost, it is important to balance this carefully against the potential benefits expected.

I Had Surgery And It Did Not Work. Why?

In rare cases, patients may continue to suffer from symptoms of pain and stiffness after surgery.
This can be a source of significant frustration especially when you expected surgery to be a dramatic “last hope”.
It can also be confusing when you are told “the scans are okay” or “the surgery was successful” but do not feel well.

This can be a complex condition and there are many possible reasons.

In some instances, the body has not had enough time to fully recover and symptoms will improve with rest.
At times, there could be some technical aspects of surgery that should best be discussed with your surgeon.
There are also cases where a patient’s original symptoms are caused by multiple factors such as inflammation, joint dysfunction, degeneration, and muscular trigger points.
Surgery may correct one specific cause of the patient’s symptoms but not be able to address the other causes.
In such instances, a comprehensive post-surgery treatment plan is likely needed.

Can I Use Medisave And Medical Insurance To Pay For Treatments?

As our treatments are very affordable and cost-effective, many patients choose to self pay.
For those with insurance coverage, we are happy to help support medical claims.
Medisave is another very popular option to help pay for medical treatments.

What New Treatment Options Can The Pain Relief Clinic Offer For My Osteoarthritis?

At The Pain Relief Clinic, we adopt a biomedical targeted approach that addresses how the multiple aspects of osteoarthritis affect you.
This allows us to provide treatment strategy using medical technology in a comprehensive and cost-effective way.
The aim of treatments is to improve your symptoms as well as to prevent long term deterioration and surgery.
Depending on the severity of your osteoarthritis, some of the useful options that can give very good results include:

If you are suffering from osteoarthritis, or if your condition has not improved despite other treatments, we are able to help.

Simply call us at +65 6732 2397

or leave a message below for Dr Tan to discuss a customized non-invasive solution for you.