Hip Specialist in Singapore

Dr Poh Seng Yew is Singapore’s first fully fellowship-trained specialist in hip preservation surgery. He founded the Singhealth Joint Hip Preservation Service, which is dedicated to implementing therapeutic measures to treat hip disease by maintaining the integrity of the native hip joint or preventing hip arthritis and the necessity for hip replacement.

Are your hip pain symptoms affecting your quality of life? Consult our MOH-accredited hip specialist for a comprehensive diagnosis of your condition & a personalised treatment plan.

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Dr Poh Seng Yew



MMED (Ortho)



Common Hip Conditions

Hip conditions represent a significant concern within orthopaedic medicine, often resulting in discomfort, impaired mobility, and a diminished quality of life. This includes the following.

  • Osteoarthritis - Characterised by the degeneration of joint cartilage and the underlying bone, osteoarthritis is the most prevalent form of arthritis affecting the hip. Symptoms may include joint stiffness, pain, and swelling.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis - An autoimmune condition, rheumatoid arthritis leads to inflammation of the joint lining. In the hip, this can cause pain and stiffness, with potential damage to cartilage and bone over time.
  • Traumatic Hip Injuries - Traumatic events, such as falls or accidents, can result in fractures of the hip bone or injuries to the soft tissues surrounding the joint, including muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
  • Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI) - FAI is a condition where extra bone grows along one or both of the bones that form the hip joint — giving the bones an irregular shape and causing them to rub against each other during movement.
  • Hip Labral Tear - The labrum, a ring of cartilage that follows the outside rim of the socket of the hip joint, can be torn, often causing pain at the front of the hip, a clicking or locking sensation in the joint, and stiffness.
  • Hip Dysplasia - Present from birth, hip dysplasia involves a hip socket that doesn't fully cover the ball portion of the upper thighbone, which can increase the risk of a hip joint dislocation.
  • Snapping Hip Syndrome - This condition occurs when a tendon rubs over the outside of the hip joint, typically resulting in a snapping sound or sensation. It is commonly associated with repetitive motion and can be accompanied by pain or discomfort.
  • Avascular Necrosis (Osteonecrosis) - Avascular necrosis involves the loss of bone tissue due to a lack of blood supply. In the hip, this can lead to the collapse of the joint surface.
  • Infections - Hip joint infections, though less common, can occur, usually caused by bacteria or viruses. These infections can lead to pain, swelling, and fever, requiring prompt medical intervention.
  • Tendinopathy - Overuse or strain can lead to hip tendinopathy, affecting the tendons around the hip and resulting in pain or discomfort, particularly during activity.
  • Hip Fracture - A break in the upper part of the thigh bone (femur) near the hip joint, often resulting from falls or direct impacts. Symptoms include severe pain, inability to move the hip or leg, and, in some cases, a visible shortening or misalignment of the leg.
  • Hip Bursitis - Inflammation of the bursae, small fluid-filled sacs that cushion the hip joint, causing pain and tenderness in the hip area, especially when lying on the affected side or during movement.
  • Hip Dislocation - Occurs when the head of the femur is forced out of its socket in the hip bone, often due to significant trauma. This condition can cause severe pain and immobility, and immediate medical attention is necessary.
  • Hip Sprains - Injuries to the ligaments surrounding the hip joint, often caused by falls, direct impacts, or sudden twisting movements. Symptoms include pain, swelling, and limited range of motion in the hip area.

Common Causes Of Hip Conditions

Hip complications and disorders can arise from a myriad of causes, ranging from congenital conditions to acquired diseases and injuries.

  • Genetic Predisposition: Certain individuals inherit a susceptibility to hip dysplasia or other structural abnormalities, which may predispose them to joint problems later in life.
  • Age-Related Changes: With advancing age, the hip joint may undergo wear and tear, leading to conditions such as osteoarthritis, where the protective cartilage deteriorates over time.
  • Inflammatory Diseases: Autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis trigger an inflammatory response within joints, including the hip, causing pain and potential joint damage.
  • Overuse and Repetitive Stress: Athletes or individuals engaging in repetitive motion activities may develop overuse injuries, contributing to conditions such as tendinopathy or snapping hip syndrome.
  • Trauma and Injury: Impact from falls, accidents, or sports can lead to acute hip injuries such as fractures, dislocations, or labral tears.
  • Obesity: Excess body weight imposes additional stress on the hip joint, potentially accelerating the onset of degenerative hip disorders.
  • Posture and Gait Abnormalities: Irregularities in posture or gait can distribute weight unevenly across the hip joint, leading to imbalances and increased wear on the joint structures.
  • Alcohol and Steroid Use: Excessive alcohol consumption and corticosteroid use have been linked to avascular necrosis of the hip, where diminished blood flow leads to bone death.
  • Infections: Septic arthritis, caused by a joint infection, can damage the cartilage and bone within the hip, resulting in pain and stiffness.
  • Developmental Disorders: Conditions present at birth, such as congenital hip dislocation, can disrupt the normal formation and function of the hip joint.

Symptoms and Signs

The manifestation of hip complications and disorders encompasses a spectrum of symptoms and signs, often indicative of the underlying condition affecting the hip joint or surrounding structures.

  • Pain
    Pain is a principal symptom associated with hip disorders, varying in intensity and character. It may be localised to the groin, thigh, or buttocks and could extend to the knee or back.
  • Stiffness
    A reduction in the hip joint’s range of motion often manifests as stiffness, making it challenging to perform activities such as bending or walking.
  • Swelling and Tenderness
    Inflammatory or traumatic hip conditions can result in swelling around the joint, accompanied by tenderness upon palpation.
  • Reduced Mobility
    Difficulty in hip movement, including challenges with starting or maintaining motion, is commonly reported by those with hip disorders.
  • Limping
    Compromised hip function may lead to an altered walking pattern or limping, often as an attempt to minimise discomfort during weight-bearing activities.
  • Noises
    Audible snapping, clicking, or grinding noises may be present, particularly in conditions such as snapping hip syndrome or femoroacetabular impingement.
  • Deformity
    In severe cases, visible changes in the appearance of the hip or leg, such as deformity, may be evident, indicating advanced or untreated hip disorders.
  • Functional Impairment
    Symptoms may extend to impact daily activities, leading to difficulty with tasks such as climbing stairs, rising from a seated position, or walking.
  • Radiating Pain
    In certain conditions, pain may radiate from the hip to other areas such as the groin, thigh, or knee.
  • Night Pain
    Pain during the night or while resting can be a feature of hip disorders, affecting sleep patterns and rest quality.
  • Instability
    A sensation of the hip giving way or being unsteady may occur, reflecting a potential weakness or mechanical insufficiency in the hip structure.


Diagnosing hip conditions requires a systematic approach involving clinical evaluation and various diagnostic tools to accurately identify the underlying disorder.

Clinical Assessment

The initial step in diagnosis is a detailed medical history and physical examination. The hip specialist assesses the patient’s symptoms, history of present illness, and medical background, and conducts a physical examination to evaluate the range of motion, joint stability, and the presence of pain or discomfort.

Imaging Studies

  • X-rays: These are typically the first imaging technique used, offering images of bone and insights into the presence of fractures or structural abnormalities.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): MRI scans provide high-resolution images of soft tissues, including muscles, ligaments, and cartilage, useful for detecting labral tears, muscle strains, and early signs of osteonecrosis.
  • Computed Tomography (CT) Scans: CT scans combine multiple X-ray images to create cross-sectional views of the hip, particularly useful in assessing complex fractures.
  • Ultrasound: This modality is employed to visualise soft tissue structures and guide diagnostic procedures like aspirations or injections.

Laboratory Tests

Blood tests may be conducted to identify markers of inflammation, infection, or other conditions that could contribute to hip pain. In certain cases, fluid from the hip joint may be extracted for analysis, known as arthrocentesis, to rule out infection or gout.

Functional Assessments

Gait analysis and other functional assessments may be utilised to determine the impact of the hip condition on the patient’s mobility and daily activities.

Specialised Tests

In cases where specific conditions are suspected, such as femoroacetabular impingement or snapping hip syndrome, specialised dynamic tests may be performed.


Non-Surgical Treatment Options

Initial treatment often involves conservative measures aimed at reducing pain and inflammation while maintaining joint function.


Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly prescribed for pain relief and to reduce inflammation. In certain scenarios, stronger analgesics or antirheumatic medications may be indicated.

Physical Therapy

Customised exercises under the guidance of a physiotherapist can strengthen hip muscles, improve flexibility, and increase the range of motion.

Lifestyle Modifications

Weight management, activity modification, and the use of assistive devices such as canes or walkers may be recommended to decrease stress on the hip joint.


Corticosteroid injections or hyaluronic acid preparations may provide temporary relief from arthritis-related symptoms.

Surgical Treatment Options

If conservative treatments are insufficient, surgical options may be considered, depending on the individual’s condition and overall health.

  • Arthroscopy
    A minimally invasive procedure where small incisions and specialised instruments are used to diagnose and treat joint problems.
  • Osteotomy
    The surgical cutting and realignment of bones to relieve pressure on the hip joint.
  • Hip Replacement Surgery
    The removal and replacement of a diseased hip joint with a prosthetic implant, performed in cases of severe arthritis or hip damage.
  • Hip Resurfacing
    An alternative to total hip replacement that involves capping the femoral head with a smooth metal covering.

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Preventing Hip Complications

Prevention of hip complications involves strategies designed to mitigate risk factors and maintain hip health, particularly as individuals age or engage in activities that could put stress on the hip joint.

  • Regular Exercise: Engaging in regular physical activity strengthens the muscles around the hip joint, improving stability and reducing the risk of injuries.
  • Weight Management: Maintaining a healthy weight decreases the mechanical load on the hip joint, potentially delaying the onset of degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis.
  • Proper Nutrition: A balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D supports bone health, while omega-3 fatty acids found in certain fish can help reduce inflammation.
  • Posture Awareness: Correct posture during activities and ergonomic workplace setups can help distribute body weight evenly, reducing strain on the hip.
  • Safe Exercise Techniques: Using proper form and techniques during exercise and sporting activities minimises the risk of a hip injury.
  • Flexibility Training: Incorporating flexibility exercises, such as stretching or yoga, into one’s routine can maintain or improve the range of motion of the hip joint.
  • Protective Gear During High-Impact Sports: Wearing appropriate protective equipment during high-impact sports can prevent traumatic hip injuries.
  • Routine Hip Screening: Routine screening for hip dysplasia or early signs of arthritis can allow for early intervention, which may prevent complications.
  • Avoiding High-Risk Activities: For individuals with pre-existing hip conditions, avoiding high-impact or high-risk activities may be necessary to prevent exacerbation of symptoms.
  • Bone Health Monitoring: Regular assessments for osteoporosis or bone density checks can help in early identification and management of conditions that weaken bones.
  • Moderation in Alcohol and Steroid Use: Minimising alcohol consumption and careful use of corticosteroids under medical supervision can prevent avascular necrosis of the hip.

Dr Poh Seng Yew



MMED (Ortho)


With over 20 years of experience, Dr Poh Seng Yew is an orthopaedic surgeon specialising in hip, knee, shoulder and elbow surgery, sports medicine, and trauma surgery.

  • Former Director of Sports Service, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Singapore General Hospital
  • Clinical Hip and Sports Medicine Fellow, Orthopädische Chirurgie München (OCM), Germany
  • Fellow, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, FRCSEd (Orthopaedic Surgery)
  • Master of Medicine (Orthopaedic Surgery), National University of Singapore
  • Member, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (MRCSEd)
  • Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), National University of Singapore



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Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
38 Irrawaddy Road, #08-62/63
Singapore 329563

Weekdays: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Saturdays: 9.00am – 1.00pm
Sundays and Public Holidays: Closed

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    Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
    38 Irrawaddy Road, #08-62/63
    Singapore 329563

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    Can hip pain be a sign of something serious?

    Yes, hip pain can sometimes indicate serious conditions such as avascular necrosis, hip fractures, or infections. Persistent or severe pain should prompt medical evaluation.

    Can hip pain go away on its own?

    Some minor hip pain from overuse or mild strain may resolve with rest and home care. Persistent or worsening pain warrants medical assessment.

    When should one consider hip surgery?

    Hip surgery is considered when conservative treatments have failed to relieve symptoms and there is a significant impact on daily life.