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Making sense of musculoskeletal conditions

The evolution of CGH’s Orthopaedic services and a look at common bone-related medical issues.

Contrary to the perception that our bones are “fixed” and grow in a predictable way, our skeletons are remarkably malleable, and the bones beneath our flesh are very much alive. Healthy bone growth entails good bone strength and mass, which comes about with sufficient calcium, Vitamin D and exercise. It is not uncommon to hear about bone and joint issues among people of all ages, although these are more pronounced for seniors who suffer from arthritic and degenerative conditions. Those who are actively engaged in certain sports also face the risk of bone and joint injuries. At Changi General Hospital (CGH), the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery attends to more than 67,000 outpatient visits annually.

Adjunct Associate Professor James Loh Sir Young
Chief and Senior Consultant, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Changi General Hospital

The team collaborates with other specialisations such as Rehabilitation Medicine, Rheumatology, Sports Medicine, Musculoskeletal Radiology, the Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic (PRAS), and trauma teams to further their expertise, as well as provide diagnoses and treatments for different regions of the musculoskeletal system.

Clinical Assistant Professor Charles Kon (centre), Consultant, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, CGH, carrying out a minimally-invasive keyhole surgery on a patient’s ankle.

With a focus on continually developing its holistic care capabilities, the clinicians are driven by the latest research- and evidence-based adoption of new technologies and innovations. With advanced surgical technologies, patients now have the option of undergoing minimally-invasive and computer-guided surgeries instead of open surgeries.

Adjunct Assistant Professor Kinjal Mehta, Senior Consultant, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, CGH, leverages advanced technology such as the O-arm, a 3-D imaging system, during surgery.

A recent CGH initiative is the use of ring fixators — circular metal frames that can be used for the correction and treatment of foot and ankle deformities and trauma, non-healing wounds, or open fractures. This is an alternative option for patients who are not suitable for internal fixation (the surgical insertion of implants). The ring fixators are designed to bear the patients’ weight and confer greater stability so that they can continue with their rehabilitation even when a new bone is growing behind a broken bone.

In acknowledgment of its expertise,
clinical work and leadership in
the field of Orthopaedics, the CGH
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
received international recognition by
Newsweek as a Top Specialty globally.

Making sense of musculoskeletal conditions