Knee Pain

Experiencing knee pain? It’s so common that almost all of us have had knee pain at some point in our lives. Knee pain can result from injury, overuse or gradually develop with age. Pain can arise from tendons and ligaments around the knee, or from cartilage damage and wear within the knee joint.

We explore common causes of knee pain and when you should seek medical help with our orthopaedic surgeon.

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Dr Kau Chung Yuan (许医生)


MRCS (Ireland)

MMed (Ortho)

FRCSEd (Ortho)


Understanding Knee Pain

The knee is a big complex joint that is essential for us to walk and run. Knee pain can be sharp and painful, after a twisting injury or sprain. Dull aching pain from the knee can arise from the joint itself, and often is related to cartilage wear. Pain may or may not be felt superficially when we touch certain areas around the knee. Patients often report pain from the front of the knee, and also the back of the knee, particularly when bending and performing squats.

Knee Pain After Injury

Sports injuries or a simple fall can result in knee pain. A twisting injury can damage one of the cruciate or collateral ligaments. Common injuries include:

These injuries are associated with significant pain and swelling. There will be difficulty bending or straightening the knee. You may be unable to walk properly after the incident. Such cases would benefit from early medical attention to avoid aggravating the condition.

Knee Pain After 50

Although we all wish life re-starts at 50, it is often the age when medical problems surface. Knee pain is no exception. Arthritis can set in as we get older. This can affect the big joints in our body such as the knee and hip, or even the small joints of our fingers. There are 3 main forms of arthritis:

  • Osteoarthritis This is a degenerative condition that commonly affects the knee. The cartilage in the joint breaks down leading to pain with walking and climbing stairs. Knees can appear deformed and bow-legged over many years.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis This is an autoimmune condition where the body’s antibodies attacks its own cells. This causes joint destruction slowly. Patients can feel stiffness and pain especially after waking up in the morning.
  • Gouty arthritis Excessive uric acid can lead to crystal deposits in the body and cause gouty attacks of knee pain. Over time this can destroy the cartilage and knee joint. Attacks commonly occur in other joints such as the big toe and elbow. Gout is often associated with excessive alcohol intake and may require certain dietary restrictions.

Arthritis that destroys the knee cartilage can lead to debilitating chronic knee pain. In such cases, a Partial Knee Replacement or Total Knee Replacement may be suitable and help to alleviate pain and restore function to the knee.


Are Your Symptoms Affecting Your Quality Of Life?

Consult our MOH-accredited orthopaedic specialist for an accurate diagnosis & personalised treatment plan today.

Knee Pain From Overuse

Knee pain due to overuse is a common issue that can affect anyone, from those engaged in everyday activities like walking and climbing stairs, to individuals participating in light exercises or athletes pushing their limits. This discomfort arises when the knee is repeatedly used without adequate rest, leading to strain and inflammation in the joint. Symptoms can vary from mild aches to sharp pains, often worsening with continued activity. For persistent pain, seeking medical advice is recommended to prevent further complications.

Referred Pain To The Knee

In some cases pain at the knee can originate from the hip or the lower back. Pain along the inner side of the knee can be referred from hip problems such as hip arthritis or hip dysplasia. Knee pain that runs down the back of the thigh and crosses the back of the knee can be related to lower back and lumbar spine issues. You may not be experiencing any hip or low back pain concurrently with the knee symptoms. See your doctor to have a proper assessment for the source of the pain.

How Do I Treat Knee Pain At Home?

Knee pain after an activity can be managed at home with

  • Rest and elevation
  • Regular cold compress with an ice pack
  • Applying a muscle rub or cream
  • Over the counter medication such as paracetamol or ibuprofen
  • Wearing a knee brace helps to manage swelling and provides comfort

When Should I See An Orthopaedic Surgeon For Knee Pain?

Minor aches and pains will usually improve by a week of rest, cold therapy and stretches. For acute pain and swelling after an injury, it is advisable to seek medical attention early. Chronic pain that does not improve with rest and therapy should also get an evaluation. A thorough history and examination will be done, and scans that are useful include knee x-rays and MRI scans.

Contact our orthopaedic surgeon today for an appointment. He has special interest in Hip and Knee conditions and is Fellowship Trained with many years of experience.


Dr. Kau Chung Yuan

MBBS (S’pore)

MRCS (Ireland)

MMed (Ortho)

FRCSEd (Ortho)

Dr Kau (许医生) is a Fellowship trained Orthopaedic Surgeon with a subspecialty interest in Hip and Knee surgery and has been in practice for more than 15 years.

He is experienced in trauma and fracture management, sports injuries, and joint replacement surgery.

  • Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh, Orthopaedics (FRCS, Edin) 2014
  • Master of Medicine (Orthopaedics), Singapore (MMed) 2013
  • Member of the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (MRCS, Ire) 2009
  • Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBBS, Singapore) 2004

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Patient Feedback

Ethan Chan
Dr. Kau is an exemplary doctor who is experienced in his field and is very patient with his patients. He walked me through the details of my knee condition and addressed all my concerns. Thanks to Dr. Kau, I had a better understanding of my ACL and MCL injury and the various treatment options available. His advice and treatment have been very valuable to me.
Ming Lee Chua
Dr Kau was very careful and explained clearly the surgery procedures. After surgery, the care while I was in hospital was closely monitored and he even came during weekends! The hip so far has recovered and healed. His ‘predictions’ of when what can happen are so accurate. Trust him.
Teo Pek Suan Diana
I had a very successful total hip replacement done by Dr Kau 4 years ago. 4 months after the operation I was back walking, cycling and swimming. The beautiful job gave me much confidence Dr Kau is most professional and has such great doctor patient communication.

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