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Common Knee Injuries in Singapore and Its Treatment – A Doctor’s Guide

31st Mar 2022 | 0 comments

The knee is one of the largest joints in the human body. Supporting and moving the body, the knees are a key part of the human body.

The knees are made up of three bones – the femur (thighbone), the tibia (shinbone) and the patella (kneecap). These bones are connected by ligaments, cartilage, tendons and muscles.

Pain in the knees is a common complaint amongst adults and it is frequently caused by recreational activities, accidents, and wear and tear from daily activities like walking, bending, standing and lifting. Additionally, runners and athletes who play sports are more prone to knee problems.

Knee Injuries

knee injuries in singapore

While the majority of bruises and cuts heal on their own, certain knee injuries can lead to serious conditions that impair knee function over time.

Here are the five most common knee injuries in Singapore:

Patellar Tendonitis (Jumper’s Knee)

Patellar Tendonitis (Jumper’s Knee)


The patellar tendon is a thick, fibrous tissue that connects the kneecap (patella) to the shinbone and enables movement such as kicking, jumping, and running.

Jumper’s knee, also known as patellar tendonitis, is caused by irritation or inflammation of the patellar tendon. 

This knee injury is usually caused by overuse. It usually affects athletes at the peak of their performance.

Without treatment, a jumper’s knee weakens your tendon, ultimately leading to tendon tears.

Risk Factors:

  • Age: Patellar tendonitis develops slowly over a long period of time. People over 40 are at a higher risk than adolescents or young adults.
  • Intense Physical Activity: Participating in sports involving a lot of jumping, sprinting or sudden movements at high speeds can increase your risk of patellar tendonitis. More intense training puts more strain on your muscles and tendons.
  • Chronic Illness: Conditions such as kidney failure, lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis, as well as metabolic disorders such as diabetes disrupt blood flow to the knee, weakening the tendons.


  • Pain and tenderness in the area of your kneecap
  • Sporadic pain that worsens with activity (i.e running, walking, jumping)
  • Swelling

Cartilage Injury


A cartilage injury is a fairly common type of injury.

The cartilage is a connective tissue found in many parts of the body such as the knees, hips and others. It acts as a shock absorber and allows bones to move over each other.

Although it is a tough and flexible tissue, it can be damaged by sudden traumas, such as sports injuries, or by gradual wear and tear.

Risk Factors:

  • Obesity  Excess weight puts a lot of strain on your joints, especially your knees.
  • Previous Joint Injury  previous trauma in the joints can increase risk of cartilage injury
  • Chronic Conditions – Inflammatory joint conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, cause cartilage breakdown and joint damage.


  • Joint pain and/or swelling
  • Crackling, popping, or grating sounds or sensations that occur when bending or moving joints
  • Locked joints (inability to bend or extend fully)
  • Stiffness
  • Limited range of motion

Meniscus Tear

Meniscus Tear

Meniscus is a piece of cartilage in your knee that serves as a cushion and stabilizer of the joint. This cartilage protects the bones from wear and tear.  In addition to helping transfer weight from one bone to another, it assists in maintaining knee stability.

The meniscus can tear as a result of acute trauma or age-related degenerative changes.

Contact sports such as football or noncontact sports such as volleyball and soccer can lead to meniscus tears.

Risk Factors:

  • Age – With age, your knees are more likely to wear down and tear, which increases the likelihood of a torn meniscus especially those older than 60.
  • Sports Activities – meniscus tears are more likely to occur when you perform sports that involve twisting and pivoting of the knee. 


  • A popping sensation
  • Swelling or stiffness
  • Knee pain, especially when you twist or rotate it
  • Difficulty bending and straightening the leg
  • Knees that tend to lock up or get stuck

Cruciate Ligament Injury

Cruciate Ligament Injury

Cruciate ligaments are found inside your knee joint. Cruciate ligaments are responsible for regulating the backward and forward movement of your knee.

The knee has two cruciate ligaments: the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). They consist of two strong, round bands that connect the head of the tibia to the intercondyloid notch of the femur.

The ACL is located to the lateral side, while the PCL is located to the medial side. The two cross each other like a pair of limbs of an X. Their names refer to their placement on the tibia: the ACL attaches to the anterior aspect of the intercondylar region, and the PCL attaches to the posterior aspect. As the ACL keeps the femur from sliding forwards, the PCL keeps the tibia from sliding backwards. The ACL also allows rotation of the knee.

Injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament are one of the most common knee injuries. 

  • Female  Female athletes are three times more likely to suffer an ACL injury in Singapore than male athletes
  • Sports participation  Basketball, soccer, football, volleyball, downhill skiing, lacrosse, and tennis are among the sports that can result in an ACL tear. Often, the athletes have to decelerate suddenly and repeatedly, such as cutting, pivoting, or landing on one leg.
  • Prior ACL injury  ACL re-tears are approximately 15% more likely to occur after a previously repaired ACL. ACL injury occurs in one knee, the risk of an injury in the opposite knee is also higher.
  • Age  ACL tears are most prevalent between the ages of 15 and 45, mostly because of the more active lifestyle and higher sport participation.


  • Severe pain 
  • Swelling
  • Inability to move fully
  • Tenderness at the joint line
  • Walking discomfort


Getting medical attention for a knee injury as soon as possible increases the likelihood of a full recovery. Mild knee injuries might heal on their own, but it is advisable to have every injury examined by a doctor or physiotherapist. Pain persisting in your knees may require professional help.  Treatment options include physiotherapy, arthroscopic surgery and open surgery.

Knee Injuries Treatments & Surgery Available at Spire Orthopaedic

Knee injuries treatment varies based on the type and severity of the injury and can include physical therapy, immobilization, or surgery.

Spire Orthopaedic offers a range of services to address knee problems. From emergency services, knee injury surgeries, to rehabilitation. Reach out today.