Need-to-Know Questions about Kneecap Replacement Answered

The knees are an important part of one’s body and perform all the important functions such as walking, running, kicking etc. It holds the two important bones of the legs together namely, the femur and the shin and allows smooth motion between the two. The kneecap or patella is a thin bone over the joint of these two bones that protects the knee, which can fracture easily.

What Happens to Your Kneecap when it Gets Hurt?

When there is a sudden impact on the delicate patella, the bone shatters. The bones are required to stay together for them to heal. But if the injury dislocates the pieces of the bone so far away from each other that they have no contact between them, then they need to be removed with the help of surgery. In the former case however, the doctors put a cast around the knee to promote healing.

Can You Still Walk Without a Kneecap?

People can still walk without a kneecap but certain postures that require support from the patella like kneeling, aren’t possible. However, with a protective gear that too is possible. This, however, is not recommended and will cause even more damage to your knee over time. Any fracture should not be left to heal on their own, and for a joint as important as the kneecap, immediate medical care is important.

Can a Broken Kneecap Heal On its Own?

A kneecap does not heal on its own without a cast, splint or eventual surgery. If the damage to the patella is so severe that the bone has no chance of recovery, the doctors instead of implanting a prosthetic, simply allow the person to live without one because minor tasks are possible with a knee cap.

What Causes Knee Pain?

Knee pain can arise from injury or medical conditions such as arthritis or from varying reasons. If the pain is unbearable and causes routine work to be a big bother, then it is important to get help. A lot of the minor knee pain issues can be very easily resolved at home using self-care but for the other ones, surgeries are required. If there is swelling accompanied by fever, discoloration, a cracking or popping noise with motion and inability to unflatten the knee then you require immediate medical attention.

If left untreated, the knee will have an obvious deformity and misalignment of the bones in the area. The sharp edges of the bones can cut into the surrounding muscle or tissue and an infection can develop in the area, not to mention worsening of the pain.

How Should I Look After My Kneecaps?

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle of nutritional food intake and moderate exercise is important for overall health. Exercise also helps to strengthen your muscles and eating food with good calcium, iron and minerals will help your bones, Doctors always recommend their patients to first care and treat the knee with medicines or physiotherapy before finally suggesting surgery to ease their discomfort.

This also depends on the severity of the case. Surgery could be the first prescription after diagnosis too. It is always wise to seek medical attention once pain is felt, as pain is the body’s way of letting you know that something isn’t going right. Seeking medical attention early could also mean the difference between prevention and cure.

Read more about the knee treatments and surgeries offered here.

Caring for Your Knee: How Much Does a Kneecap Cost in Singapore?

Knee injury is a common cause of knee pain which can be either front of the knee or behind knee cap. The knee joint is placed at such an important part of the legs which is vulnerable to many knee injuries and subsequently knee pain. This type of injury and the pain is mostly common in athletes and players and people having fragile bones probably due to age factor. Knee pain may become unbearable also while running, knee bending, jumping, squatting or even climbing stairs.

There have been multiple treatments catering to knee pain across the world. The motives behind different treatments are to provide best possible services and facilities to the suffering patients.

Planning for Knee Replacement in Singapore

Knee replacement is one of such treatments. Knee replacement essentially involves the surgeons capping the ends of the bones of which form the knee joint with plastic or metal components or implant a prosthetic shaped as a joint. This is done to ensure mobility and relief in severe pain.   In Singapore most people also opt for knee replacement surgery. These surgeries are broadly divided into total knee replacement (TKR) or partial knee replacement (PKR).

Money Matters – Costs Associated with Knee Surgery

It may well be said to be a very costly procedure when it comes to finances. The reason being is that the implants used in surgeries are typically imported from other countries.

In Singapore, the cost of knee surgery is generally range from $6,000 to $30,000. It mostly depends on the duration of the stay, the type of implant or surgery, inpatient and outpatient charges and any care or equipment used. The cost is covered around 70% in insurance through government subsidies and the price further differs with public or private hospitals.

Knee replacement surgeons are very good in providing treatment. Currently, the surgeries of these kind are done with more precision using robotics. The chances of error have further minimized, and accuracies have improved. People in the Southeast Asian region prefer to get their knee replacements done from Singapore due to the strong healthcare here, if they can afford it.

It is cost effective to get a knee replacement surgery done in Singapore’s public hospitals because the public medical sector in the country provides one of the most reliable and cost-effective services all over the world. The cost of such surgeries easily cost 10 to 20 times more in private hospitals than the public sector hospitals. Since there are certain classes of public hospitals like an A grade or B grade wards. The treatments and facilities of an A class ward of the public hospitals can easily be compared to the private hospitals but the margins in expenses are substantial. Private hospitals cost even more than these A wards at any public hospital.

Surgery Scheduled Time Difference in Singapore’s Public and Private Hospitals

However, there are certain other factors to keep in mind before opting for the knee replacement surgery. In public sector hospitals typically the waiting time can vary between 3 to 4 months due to the waitlist while it can be done in a week’s time in a private hospital. Since the public hospitals also provide training to young doctors so one may get specialists along with trainees for their surgery. In order to get all specialists team for the surgery private sector may be a suitable option. In addition, the private hospitals may well provide top class facilities like air condition which may be the added costs of treatments.

These expenses are quite low if the patients have insurance. Insurance is typically prescribed by the doctor. The knee replacement surgery costs are usually covered by health insurance. The insurance packages may vary as well. The cost effectiveness can be a factor for the patients to decide upon their surgery.

Read more about the knee treatments and surgeries offered here.

A Guide to Kneecap Replacement and Activities for Post-Surgery Recovery

One in every three people in Singapore suffer from a knee related problem. The fundamental reasons why the problems arise are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or post-traumatic arthritis. In the latter, there is usually an injury connected to the sensitive area, known as the cartilage. Patients complain of mild to severe pain when walking or moving and are treated with a partial knee replacement (where only a part of the damaged area is removed and treated) or a total knee replacement.

Depending on the severity, doctors recommend if the patients require a partial or total knee replacement. When the incision is made, the damaged knee parts are removed, and special plastic and metal components are placed. These metal and plastic components minimize the abrasion between the two bones and thus pain is basically diminished.

How Long Does It Take to Recover From a Knee Replacement?

The surgical procedures for partial and total knee replacement differ based on the incision made, which is small for the former. Therefore, the recovery time for partial knee replacement as compared to total knee replacement is usually less and the patient is kept in the hospital for one to three days, depending on the knee recovery and if the patient has no help at home.

For a complete recovery from knee replacement, a total of three months’ time is required. The patient can usually resume work in four to six weeks’ time. After only a day, the doctors recommend their patients to try to walk with aid so that there isn’t any clotting in the damaged area. But, for one to start walking normally and without aid, it usually takes three to four weeks. If patients closely follow their doctor’s instructions and regularly take the suggested medications, recovery can be sooner and long-lasting.

What Sports Activities Can I Do After Knee Replacement?

  • Simple exercisingafter one resumes walking without aid and prosthetics, can further enhance the strength and healing of the knee.
  • Along with this, physical therapyshould also be taken for at least four months after the surgery. Patients should avoid all sorts of high impact activities and the walk should also be gentle and steady. Adverse effects can certainly take place if the patient isn’t careful post-surgery and can even complicate matters.
  • Cyclingis a high impact exercise that should not be resumed without a consent from the doctor or your physical therapist. And after this suggested time period and due recommendation, one can start slowly with lower resistance at first and then gradually add more resistance as your knee adjusts. If, however, any discomfort is felt, resistance should be lowered, and you ought to inform your doctor immediately. Cycling is a good exercise with many health benefits and is also a part of rehabilitation post-surgery.
  • Other harder exercises like gym activitiesand doing squats may take some time as the patients builds up their strength to perform them, but for some it may altogether be impossible because most implants only allow the knee to bend between 100 to 120 degrees. So only sports activities can be resumed that allow the knee to bend between these angles.

The recovery time is different for everyone and depends on the amount of damage, age of the patient, and activity. A kneecap replacement surgery is a good option for those people who find that their daily lives are being hindered because of the pain in that area.

Read more about the knee treatments and surgeries offered here.

5 Tips for Coming Back Strong After a Sports Injury

 

Warrior pose from yoga by woman silhouette on sunset
Getting physically injured is a nightmare, especially for active people and athletes. Injuries mean lost time at the gym, sitting out of games, and feeling defeated. But believe it or not, the challenges that come from recovery can actually inspire improvement. Follow these five tips and return to workouts physically and mentally strong.

1. Get diagnosed. Know the difference between being hurt and suffering an injury. “We like to ‘man up’ and walk it off when we get hurt. But you know you are injured when the pain you sustained has not gone away or perhaps has gotten worse.” says Aaron Wexler, NASM CPT. “Pain is the first sign that something in your body’s kinetic chain is not right.” You can walk off being sore, but you should not walk off real pain.

2. Understand what happened. How did you get injured? Understanding what happened will be key to your rehab plan so you can avoid further injury. Knowing what went wrong will also help you mentally, as getting injured can really impact your confidence level.

3. Seek supervision. Work with your doctor on an exercise-based rehab program. A physical therapist or personal trainer can also help correct bad movement patterns and muscle imbalances in order to prevent further injuries.

4. Fuel your body. A nutrient-packed diet and adequate hydration are key during recovery. Adding a supplement like glutamine or MSM and chondroitin may also help rebuild joints. Stay away from alcohol, sugar, and white flour.

5. Keep going. Continue your prescribed rehab plan for a few weeks after you feel back to normal. This will help you continue to build strength. Focus on stabilization, core, and flexibility exercises after rehab. You’ll also want to warm up your injured muscle with a foam roller

Adapted from mensfitness.com

Weight Lifting Tips for Women

Women are hitting the weight room in record numbers, and a new study found that weight-training injuries among women have jumped a whopping 63 percent. Here are the most common slipups and how to fix them, so you leave the gym strutting—not limping.

Skipping Your Warm-up
You wouldn’t launch into an all-out sprint the second you stepped onto a treadmill, so you shouldn’t jump right into deadlifts the instant you hit the weight room. “Working cold, stiff muscles can lead to sprains and tears,” says Morey Kolber, Ph.D., a professor of physical therapy at Nova Southeastern University in Florida. “Warming up increases circulation and improves range of motion, which preps your muscles and joints for action.”

The fix: “While opinions about static stretching may differ, a dynamic warm-up can decrease your risk for injury,” says exercise physiologist Marco Borges, author of Power Moves. After five to 10 minutes of walking or jogging, do 10 to 12 lunges and pushups (the bent-knee version is fine) before starting your routine.

Using Sloppy Form
Experts agree that proper form is the single most important factor in injury prevention, yet many women don’t give it a lot of thought—especially when they’re in a rush. And women, thanks to their naturally wider hips, are more at risk for form-related injuries than men are: One study found that women had nearly twice as many leg and foot injuries as guys did.

The fix: Before you begin any exercise, think S.E.A.K., says trainer Robbi Shveyd, owner of Advanced Wellness in San Francisco: Stand straight (head over shoulders; shoulders over hips; hips over feet), eyes on the horizon (looking down encourages your shoulders to round and your chest to lean forward), abs tight (as if you were about to be punched in the gut, but without holding your breath; this helps stabilize your pelvis), and knees over your second toe (women’s knees have a tendency to turn in because of the angle created by wider hips, says Joan Pagano, author of Strength Training for Women).

Stressing Out Your Shoulders
As crazy as it sounds, women who lift weights tend to have less-stable shoulder joints than women who don’t lift at all, found a recent study. The reason: Doing too many exercises in which your elbows are pulled behind your body (think chest flies and rows) can overstretch the connective tissue in the front of the joints. If the backs of your shoulders are tight, you’re even more likely to overstretch the front, increasing the imbalance at the joint, says Kolber.

The fix: Modify your moves. First, don’t allow your elbows to extend more than two inches behind your body. In the lowering phase of a bench press, for example, stop when your elbows are just behind you. Second, avoid positioning a bar behind your head. Bring the lat-pulldown bar in front of your shoulders, and when you’re doing an overhead press, use dumbbells instead of a bar and keep the weights in your line of vision (meaning just slightly in front of your head).

Neglecting Opposing Muscle Groups
“Many women have strength imbalances, which can make them more prone to injury,” says Shveyd. Sometimes they’re the result of your lifestyle (hovering over a desk all day, for example, tightens and weakens your hip flexors while your glutes become overstretched and inactive). Other times they’re caused by not working both sides of the body equally (say, focusing on moves that rely on your quads but not your hamstrings).

The fix: For every exercise that works the front of the body (chest, biceps, quads), be sure to do an exercise that targets the rear (back, triceps, hamstrings). For instance, pair stability-ball chest presses with dumbbell rows, or step-ups with deadlifts.

Doing Too Much Too Soon
A lot of people think that more is better—more reps, more sets, more weight. But if you increase any of these things too quickly, your body may not be able to handle the extra workload. “Gradual conditioning prevents injuries such as torn ligaments and tendinitis, because your muscles and connective tissues have time to adapt,” says Pagano.

The fix: Practice a three-step progression. First, learn to do a move using only your body weight. “When you can do 15 reps with proper form, add weight,” says Pagano. Second, stick to one set with light weights for two weeks or until you feel comfortable with the move. And finally, when you can complete nearly all of your reps with proper form, add another set or more weight (increase weight by roughly 10 percent each time).

(Article originally from Women’s Health Magazine)

Why We Are Prone to Patella Dislocation?

patella_dislocation

 

 

Central Importance of the Patella

Leg bones carry the weight of the body. The thigh bone (aka the “femur”), shinbone (aka the “tibia”), and calf bone (aka the “fibula”) convey the body’s weight with each step we take with the help of the kneecap (aka “patella”).

An Interlocking System

Our skeletal system of individual bones is linked by ligaments, muscles, and cartilage. When we walk, our body weight is transferred through the thigh bone, also known as longest bone in the body and strongest bone in the leg. When this bone fails, it often has no effect on the function of lower leg bones. Femoral fractures most often occur in the central portion of the thigh bone called the “femoral shaft”, and do not directly impact the kneecap. The kneecap “facilitates” the weight transfer from the thigh bone to the shinbone and calf bone, the second strongest bone in the weight-bearing leg’s structure and the thinnest bone in the mechanism, respectively. They transfer weight to the ankle. Tibial shaft fractures are the body’s most common broken bones, perhaps related to their weight-bearing in the lower leg. Less common fibular fractures do not transfer weight in walking.

Kneecap Function

The kneecap covers and protects the front of the knee joint. It approximates the bottom of the thigh bone in a shallow trough and the shinbone at the “tibial plateau” at the top end of the shinbone. Both bones are protected by flexible cartilaginous tissue in the trough and plateau areas, permitting the bending motion at the knee. The three bones are held in place and ligament alignment by the “collaterals” (lateral and medial) and the “cruciates” (anterior and posterior). The kneecap position is maintained by additional tendons, the “quadriceps” and “patellar”. With injury at the bone insertions of the patellar and tibial tendons or with kneecap dislocation, walking will be compromised or limited. Unfortunately, injuries to these structures are common with contact athletics.

Patella Dislocation

When the tendon support structures fail to hold the kneecap in place, the knee joint fails. The medical term is “patellar dislocation”. The etiology is rather specific, either trauma directly to the knee from body or sports equipment contact or from a twisting motion occurring at the knee level (accompanied by inability to stand on the involved leg). The kneecap may be visibly in the wrong place, e.g., the side of the leg instead of the front, or there may be a lack of mobility. Pain may radiate from the front of the knee with activity or be present even at rest. Stiffness, joint noise like creaking and crackling, may be present and accompanied by swelling.

Troubleshooting a bad knee will require physical examination with x-ray and MRI imaging to define the problem and differentiate ligament tears from stretches or bone damage, visit Orthopaedic Specialist to get immediate treatment. Ligament damage may require surgical or arthroscopic reconstruction. Rehabilitation of repaired structures or for strengthening minimally damaged dislocations may be indicated. Even flaccid tissues anchoring the kneecap may benefit from physical therapy.

 

Heat Illness

When an athlete exercises, the body’s temperature is elevated and the body sweats to cool itself down. During this process, body fluid as well as critical electrolytes are lost. If the body isn’t replenished with fluids and electrolytes, dehydration may occur and increase the risk of a heat illness such as heat stroke.

Some heat illness symptoms include:

  • Chills
  • Dark colored urine
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Headaches
  • Thirst
  • Weakness

The most effective treatment for heat-related illnesses is prevention, including:

  • Proper training for the heat
  • Fluid replacement before, during and after exertion
  • Appropriate clothing—light colored, loose fitting and limited to one layer
  • Early recognition via direct monitoring of athletes by other players, coaches and medical staff
  • Monitoring the intensity of physical activity appropriate for fitness and the athlete’s acclimatization status
  • If possible, having an athletic trainer on site during events and practices to properly prevent and treat heat illnesses

At the beginning of a strenuous exercise program or after traveling to a warmer climate, an athlete should initially limit the intensity and duration of exercise and then gradually increase it during a period of 7-14 days to allow time for the body to adjust to the new climate and environmental conditions. Athletes with respiratory, gastrointestinal or other illness should be evaluated before exercise, as these conditions increase the risk of heat illness.

If heat illness progresses, more serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing, body temperature increasing to dangerous levels, muscle cramps, nausea, and tingling of the limbs—and even death—may occur.

When you see any signs of heat illness or heat stroke, you may be dealing with a life-threatening emergency. Have someone call for immediate medical assistance while you begin cooling the individual at risk.

Treatment tips include:

  • Getting the athlete to a shaded area.
  • If it is heat stroke, cool the athlete rapidly using cold water immersion. If immersion is not available you may use spray from a hose, cold water sponging or placing cold towels over the entire body.
  • Monitoring body temperature.
  • Providing cool beverages if possible (i.e., if the athlete does not have altered consciousness).
  • Getting medical assistance as soon as possible.

Heat exhaustion is a form of heat illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids.