Osteoarthritis Knee Treatment In Singapore

Knee osteoarthritis involves the gradual deterioration of cartilage, which is the cushion which allows for smooth joint movements, in the knee joint. As cartilage thins and wears away, bones within the joint may rub against each other, leading to pain, swelling, and reduced mobility.

  • Are your knee pain symptoms affecting your quality of life? Consult our MOH-accredited knee osteoarthritis specialist for a comprehensive diagnosis of your condition & a personalised treatment plan.
doctor img
Dr Poh Seng Yew



MMED (Ortho)



Causes of Knee Osteoarthritis

The main factor contributing to knee osteoarthritis is age. As people age, the risk of developing osteoarthritis increases due to the natural wear and tear of joints over time.

Other causes may include:

  • Joint Injuries and Post-Traumatic Osteoarthritis - Previous knee injuries, such as ligament or meniscus tears, can lead to osteoarthritis.
  • Obesity and Weight-Related Stress - Excess weight intensifies stress on knee joints. Adipose tissue also contributes to inflammation affecting joint cartilage.
  • Repetitive Stress - Jobs involving repetitive knee stress (like construction or farming) increase osteoarthritis risk. Continuous joint stress accelerates cartilage breakdown. This can also occur in athletes or active individuals.
  • Bone Structure and Alignment Issues - Congenital bone deformities or misalignment increase stress on parts of the knee, promoting osteoarthritis.

Symptoms and Signs of Knee Osteoarthritis

The symptoms and signs of knee osteoarthritis typically develop gradually and may include:

  • Joint Pain: Pain during or after movement is common. The pain may be more severe following prolonged activity or at the end of the day. It may also increase with changes in the weather.
  • Stiffness: Joint stiffness is often noticeable upon waking or after being inactive. This stiffness usually resolves with movement.
  • Swelling: Soft tissue swelling around the joint may occur due to inflammation. Swelling can contribute to joint stiffness.
  • Decreased Range of Motion: The knee may not be able to move through its full range. This limitation can affect daily activities like walking or climbing stairs.
  • Crepitus: A grating sensation or crackling sound (crepitus) during joint movement. This is due to rough surfaces within the joint moving against each other.
  • Joint Instability or Weakness: The knee may feel weak or “give way” during use. This can result from muscle weakness or joint structure changes. It may also cause individuals to limp.

Diagnosis for Knee Osteoarthritis

The diagnosis of knee osteoarthritis typically includes:


  • Medical History Review: The symptoms, their onset, and any factors that worsen or improve them are discussed. This also includes the exploration of personal and family medical history related to joint health.
  • Physical Examination: An evaluation is conducted to assess knee pain, swelling, tenderness, limitation in knee movement, instability, abnormal walking patterns, and visible abnormalities.
  • Imaging Tests: X-rays are used to identify bone spurs around the joint or narrowing of the space within the joint, indicative of cartilage loss. Although not routinely required, an MRI or CT scan may be needed to ascertain the extent of osteoarthritis or cartilage damage, identify the specific areas of the knee impacted, and evaluate for concurrent injuries or tears in the meniscus or ligaments.

Schedule An Appointment With Us

Are Your Symptoms Affecting Your Quality Of Life?

Consult our MOH-accredited knee osteoarthritis specialist for a comprehensive diagnosis of your condition & a personalised treatment plan.

Non-Surgical Treatment Options

Non-surgical treatments for knee osteoarthritis focus on alleviating symptoms and improving joint function.

  • Lifestyle and Home Remedies - Regular low-impact exercises like swimming or cycling can help maintain joint flexibility. The use of assistive devices like canes or shoe inserts can help support the joint.
  • Weight Management - Losing weight can reduce stress on the knee, easing pain and preventing further damage.
  • Physical Therapy - Tailored exercises can help strengthen muscles around the knee, improving stability and flexibility. Advice on proper body mechanics can also be given.
  • Knee Braces or Orthoses - Wearing knee braces can provide support and stability to the affected knee. Braces help in aligning the knee, reducing pain and slowing the progression of osteoarthritis.
  • Pain Relief Medications - Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen can reduce pain and inflammation. Topical creams and ointments can also be applied to the skin over the joint to offer pain relief.
  • Injections - Corticosteroid injections can reduce joint inflammation and provide temporary pain relief. Hyaluronic acid injections may help lubricate the joint, easing pain and improving movement.

Surgical Treatment Options

In cases where non-surgical treatments do not sufficiently alleviate symptoms of knee osteoarthritis, surgical options may be considered.

  • Arthroscopy (Keyhole) Surgery: A minimally invasive procedure used primarily for the early stages of arthritis. It involves small incisions (keyholes) and the use of a camera and instruments to remove loose bodies or repair cartilage.
  • Knee Osteotomy: Bone realignment surgery is often recommended for younger patients with limited osteoarthritis. It involves cutting and repositioning the tibia (shinbone) or femur (thighbone) to redistribute weight off the damaged part of the knee.
  • Partial Knee Replacement (Unicompartmental Knee Arthroplasty): Replacement of only one part of the knee joint, suitable for patients with damage limited to a specific area. It can offer a quicker recovery compared to total knee replacement.
  • Total Knee Replacement (Total Knee Arthroplasty): The damaged joint surfaces are replaced with metal and plastic components. It is highly effective in relieving pain and restoring function in severely affected knees.

Prevention Strategies for Knee Osteoarthritis

While knee osteoarthritis cannot be completely prevented, certain strategies can reduce the risk and slow the progression of the condition.

  • Warm-up and Exercise Technique: Warm up before exercises and use correct techniques, especially during knee-focused activities like squats and lunges.
  • Appropriate Footwear and Protection: Wear supportive footwear and use knee protection during activities to prevent injuries.
  • Muscle Strengthening: Engage in strengthening exercises for the muscles around the knee, ensuring proper form to support joint stability.
  • Weight Management: Keep a healthy weight to reduce stress on knee joints.
  • Avoid Repetitive Stress and Regular Movement: Minimise activities that can cause repetitive knee stress. Take breaks to stretch and move, especially when standing or sitting for long periods.

Schedule An Appointment With Us

Are Your Symptoms Affecting Your Quality Of LIfe?

Consult our MOH-accredited knee osteoarthritis specialist for a comprehensive diagnosis of your condition & a personalised treatment plan.


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



Shield Plans

Corporate Partners

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

Enquire Today & Resolve Your Knee Pain

Your symptoms shouldn’t affect your quality of life or disrupt daily activities. Reach out to our friendly clinic staff today & schedule a consultation.


    Full Name*

    Email Address*

    Phone Number*

    Your Message*

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

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can Knee Osteoarthritis be Cured?

    There is currently no cure for knee osteoarthritis. Treatment focuses on managing symptoms and improving joint function.

    Is Knee Osteoarthritis a Normal Part of Ageing?

    While age is a risk factor, knee osteoarthritis is not an inevitable part of ageing. Lifestyle choices and preventive measures can influence its development and progression.

    How Can I Distinguish Knee Osteoarthritis Pain From Other Types of Knee Pain?

    Osteoarthritis pain typically worsens with activity and improves with rest. It’s often accompanied by joint stiffness, especially in the morning or after periods of inactivity.

    Can Exercise Worsen Knee Osteoarthritis?

    Appropriate exercise, especially low-impact activities, is beneficial. High-impact or strenuous activities might exacerbate the condition.

    Is it Possible to Prevent Knee Osteoarthritis?

    Complete prevention may not be possible, but risk factors can be managed. Maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise, and avoiding joint injuries can help.