Knee Surgery in Singapore: Cost and Options

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Knee surgery in Singapore is commonly recommended to alleviate pain and help patients return to their normal activities. Whether a patient is undergoing a knee arthroscopy, a knee resurfacing, or a knee replacement, the preparation for surgery does not really differ. The patient’s medical history is reviewed prior to surgery to minimize the risks associated with surgery and anesthesia. Any medications that thin the blood, such as anti-inflammatory medication and aspirin, will usually be ceased several days prior to surgery to minimize bleeding. The patient is usually admitted on the day of surgery. The expected time until return to normal daily activities can take several weeks to several months. Your surgeon will be able to advise you on your expected recovery time. Outcomes are generally successful, defined by a reduction in pain, a return to normal function, and slowing or halting the progression of arthritis.

Overview of knee surgery

Surgery is usually the last option considered after most other treatments have failed. Know your options and talk to your doctor to see if surgery is the best option for your knee problem. If surgery is needed, ask questions and get as much information as you can about your recommended procedure. Knowledge will help you to make an informed decision and know what to expect. Find out the goal of your surgery and what you need to do to recover and rehab. Knowing how to positively affect the outcome of your surgery is crucial. Whether it be rest, exercise, lose weight, or even gain weight, it is important to know the benefit of each part your recovery so that you can return to your active lifestyle. You don’t have to travel far and wide to experience quality healthcare. Knee surgery in Singapore has been known to showcase some of the most experienced surgeons in the world who have trained in top orthopaedic programs from the USA and Europe. Knee surgery Singapore is known to be at the forefront of medical technology with access to the latest and most advanced surgical equipment. This has allowed for improvements in treating complex knee injuries such as high tibial osteotomy or robotic assisted knee surgery. Choosing to have knee surgery in Singapore will not only allow you to experience high quality medical treatment, but stay in one of the cleanest and safest countries in the world. With award-winning hospitals in both the public and private sector, patients can opt for quality treatment in a hospital with a JCI accreditation.

Importance of knee health

Knee health is of utmost importance to most people, particularly as we age. Knee pain can occur in people of all ages, and there are many factors which can contribute to the pain. It is said that for every 5 kg of body weight, our knees feel an additional 20 kg of pressure when we are walking, and even more when we are going up or down stairs, or squatting. It is no surprise that our knees deteriorate over time, and bones and joints become weakened by disease and injury. There are a variety of knee problems, some mechanical such as IT band syndrome, and some systemic such as arthritis. The seriousness of the problem varies greatly, and so does the treatment. Ignoring knee pain can lead to greater damage later in life, and can inhibit everyday tasks such as bathing and dressing. Therefore, proper knee health is important for leading an active and healthy lifestyle.

Knee Surgery Options in Singapore

There are various types of knee surgery available in Singapore. These include meniscectomy, reconstruction, articular cartilage surgery, and replacement. Meniscectomy surgery is usually needed when the patient’s knee can catch or lock up because of an acute torn meniscus. Since a torn meniscus has no blood supply, it cannot heal on its own. So, when nonoperative treatments are unable to relieve the knee catching, a meniscectomy is required. Reconstruction is usually done on those with an ACL deficient knee. ACL deficient knees can lead to an increased chance of getting arthritis. Therefore, it is recommended to get an ACL reconstruction to prevent further damage to the knee. Articular cartilage surgery is done when there is damage to the articular cartilage, usually from a previous injury or trauma to the knee. This surgery is required to prevent further degradation of the articular cartilage surface and potentially slow or lessen the onset of knee arthritis. Finally, knee replacement surgery is done for those with end-stage knee arthritis. This is most common for those ages above 65 and can give a new lease of life to those whose recreational or occupational activities are being hindered by their knee pain. Due to the aging population in Singapore and a greater awareness of healthcare, Ministry of Health statistics have shown a three-fold increase in the number of knee replacement surgeries done. It is important to consult your doctor on what type of surgery is most suitable for your condition.

Types of knee surgery available

ACL Reconstruction The Anterior Cruciate Ligament is a small ligament within the knee that connects the femur to the tibia. A tear is a common injury and if left untreated, can further damage the knee cartilage. ACL reconstruction involves placing a new ligament within the knee, rather than repairing the old one. The new ligament is usually a tendon taken from the patient’s own knee or hamstring. This surgery is considered a high-technical procedure and still developing with biological advancement. Estimated costs: $5000 – $10000 (with Medisave), $11000 – $18000 (without Medisave) Expected time off work: 2 – 3 weeks

Keyhole Surgery (Arthroscopy) A keyhole surgery involves cleaning out any ragged tissue or loose bodies within the joint. A small incision is made, and an arthroscope is inserted, relaying an image of the inside of the knee joint to a screen. Further incisions may be made for any surgical instruments if necessary. A partial meniscectomy may also be performed during this surgery. Estimated costs: $3000 – $6000 (with Medisave), $8000 – $12000 (without Medisave) Expected time off work: 3 days – 2 weeks

Hospital practices vary, so it is best to consult your surgeon. But here are some ideas about the types of surgery to let you know what to expect:

Advantages of knee surgery in Singapore

Knee surgery in Singapore has had a lot of advancement over the years. It has made use of the latest state-of-the-art technology and matched it with the knowledge and experience of surgeons. Knee surgery in Singapore has come a long way and there are several advantages compared to knee surgery in other countries. Perhaps the biggest advantage of knee surgery in Singapore is the cost. It is estimated that the cost of knee surgery in Singapore is one-third of the cost in the United States. With medical costs rising, undergoing knee surgery in Singapore can help patients save a substantial amount of money, even when factoring in the cost of travel and accommodation. In addition to this, as government hospitals also offer knee surgery, the more competitive prices have spurred the private sector to also lower their prices to match those of the government. This, in turn, benefits patients who would like to seek treatment through a private hospital.

Considerations before undergoing knee surgery

Before deciding on undergoing knee surgery, it would be wise to invest time to find out more about the price, procedure, and knee surgery recovery in Singapore. It is essential to be aware of the costs you will need to bear as prices of a knee surgery have a wide range. A simple arthroscopy may range from about $3000 – $5000 while a major knee surgery may range from $10000 – $25000. The storage of stem cells from cord tissue for future treatment and a study of knee arthritis through MRI at Singapore General Hospital would be a sample of the high-end price. An inquiry should also be made to determine if the cost recommended by the doctor is the surgeon’s fee alone or if it includes the use of the operating theatre as well as any implant or disposable used during surgery. Knee surgery prices may also vary from hospital to hospital, so it might be worthwhile to do a price comparison at different hospitals. It may also prove to be useful to find more detailed information on the treatment fee that you as a patient will need to bear and if this fee is subsidized with a Medisave claim or can be covered under an integrated shield plan.

Cost of Knee Surgery in Singapore

The knee surgery cost Singapore is a concern for most patients requiring knee surgery. The cost of knee surgery can be divided into pre-operative, operative, and post-operative costs. Pre-operative costs include doctor’s consultation fees and investigations such as MRI and arthroscopy. The cost of knee surgery may be increased if the knee injury requires surgery to be done as soon as possible due to work or sporting commitments. In such situations, coordination with the employer and insurer may be required to justify the increased cost. Operative costs can vary greatly depending on the nature of the knee injury. A simple arthroscopy and meniscectomy can cost less than $6000 while a complex ligament reconstruction and cartilage repair can cost between $12000 and $30000. The length of hospital stay and surgery required can also affect the cost of knee surgery. Post-operative costs are usually minimal. Medications cost between $100 and $200, and physiotherapy and rehabilitation costs can vary.

Factors influencing the cost of knee surgery

A second important consideration for the patient is whether the treatment is to be done as an inpatient or outpatient. Many treatments are done in either setting. Typically, the inpatient procedure is more costly but also more thorough and more likely to be covered by insurance. The decision may depend on how much the patient is willing to spend from his own pocket.

At one end of the spectrum, individual hospitals charge different rates for the same treatments. In general, those hospitals (and surgeons) with better reputations will charge more. Patients with full insurance can freely choose where to go and will usually opt for the more expensive hospital. Those with heavy co-payments may be more inclined to attend a cheaper hospital, although the difference in out-of-pocket costs may not be so great. The only exception to this rule is the foreign patient, who will often be charged a higher rate than the uninsured local patient for the same treatment at the same hospital.

Healthcare in Singapore is a free market. As a result, the cost of medical treatments, even for the same condition in the same hospital, can vary significantly from patient to patient. There are many factors influencing this. It is important for a patient to be aware of these factors before seeking treatment, so as to be prepared for the final cost and not face unexpected bills later on. It is also important for the patient to identify which are the important factors from their own perspective and to communicate these clearly to the doctor.

Average cost of knee surgery procedures

In general, the average cost of a knee replacement in Singapore may range from $18,000 to $22,000, while the average knee arthroscopy may range from $3,000 to $5,000. This is comparable to the figures stated by the Ministry of Health which reflect slightly higher figures for both procedures (class B2 and C). In reality, the total cost of the procedure may amount to much more than estimated due to possibly longer hospitalization periods, usage of more expensive implants or extended rehabilitation periods. Hence, it is essential to communicate with the surgeon regarding the potential total cost of the procedure. Precautions such as requesting the use of cheaper implants or selecting lower class wards can be taken to reduce cost. However, it is important to note that cost should not be the primary factor in determining the type of treatment the patient should receive. Decision should be based on the most suitable form of treatment for the patient, and cost should be considered a secondary issue. High cost treatment does not necessarily mean it will provide the best result. On the other hand, it may sometimes be more cost effective to opt for the more invasive knee replacement surgery if the patient is younger and would require further surgery if the arthroscopy does not alleviate the problem.

Financing options for knee surgery

It is important to first get an understanding of the total cost of surgery and the expected level of reimbursement. For those with Medishield or private integrated shield plan, it would be wise to consult the respective insurers to get an estimate of the level of reimbursement for surgery. This is because the patient may still have to fork out a substantial sum even after utilizing the insurance. Going through the hospital finance department and getting an estimate of the total cost of surgery and expected level of insurance reimbursement will also help in financial planning and exploring alternative sources of financing.

Knee replacement surgery can be expensive and many consumers have no idea how much they will have to pay, even after consulting their surgeon. This is because a gap may exist between the cost of surgery and the reimbursement available from MediSave and the patient’s Medishield or private integrated shield plan. This section aims to provide information on the various financial schemes and insurance available to help offset the cost of surgery and out-of-pocket expenses.

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