knee pain

Do you need full hip or knee replacement surgery? Farrer Park Hospital is there for you with the robotic-arm assisted procedure

Farrer Park Hospital is Singapore’s first private hospital to introduce robotic-arm assisted surgery for full hip and knee replacement procedures – individuals with joint diseases can be treated more accurately with robotic-arm assisted surgery.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones wears down over time.
Osteoarthritis symptoms can usually be managed, although the damage to joints can’t be reversed. Staying active, maintaining a healthy weight and some treatments might slow the progression of the disease and help improve pain and joint function. But for some patients, especially the elderly, the joint pain or stiffness might be nagging to some extent which does not go away and hampers day to day activities. Many of them may require a surgical procedure.

Decay in the knee

Changes in the osteoarthritic knee joint.

Dr. SS Sathappan, Senior Consultant, Orthopedic Surgery and Medical Director of Bone and Joint Specialist Clinic at Farrer Park Hospital (FPH), Singapore recently shared about the prospect and advancement in the treatment of bone and joint problems.


Dr. Sathappan, who has special interest in adult reconstructive surgery (joint replacement), sports surgery and management of complex pelvic and acetabular trauma and was the first surgeon to perform customized joint replacement explained about the robotic-arm assisted surgery for full hip and knee replacement procedure.


Robotic partial knee replacement (MAKOplasty®) is a surgical treatment designed to relieve pain in the knee caused by the wear and tear of joint cartilage. The partial knee resurfacing procedure is done using a robotic arm, which lets the surgeon treat only the damaged part of the knee. The precise nature of the procedure means healthy bone and ligaments surrounding the damaged area are spared from trauma.

This procedure is best suited for adults suffering knee pain from osteoarthritis in 1 of the 3 knee compartments but is ineligible for a total knee replacement.

Mako robot

A Mako robot

To improve the position and the cutting tools, we use robotic technology. That basically brings the error rate to less than 0.5 percent – so very accurate, precise dock the implants, check back and then you get a good outcome. As a result, the alignment is optimized, the kinematics is optimized and eventual functionality return to normality. A lot of aging patients want to be able to sit cross-legged, squatting, natural activities, prayers. It helps to get the permission of doing all these activities.

In the conventional surgery, it depends upon the experience and there is no chance of going back. On the contrary, in the robotic procedure, the precision is very high and it gives a wide variety of flexibility to reduce the errors and improve the outcome to a great extent.

Dr SS Sathappan on procedure

Dr SS Sathappan is performing a robotic procedure.

Dr. Sathappan explained that the treatment modalities have changed a lot during the last couple of years. Now people are living longer, they are coming with higher demands and more functional expectations. So, half hip replacements are becoming less popular where patients develop pain and complications over period eight to ten years.

The biomaterials and the medications have changed a lot. Understanding biomaterials is very important. Developing complications and drug allergy is getting reduced nowadays.

Surgery is really changing, expectations are changing, people want to be active, people don’t want to be dependent any more – they want to be independent. It brings back the dignity of people by making them independent again. He concluded, “I think technology allows you to optimize the long term outcome from which you get the least amount of error; biomaterials optimize longevity of the program and then empowering the patient with knowledge on therapy and how to maximize the outcome also ensure that the overall functionality-returned activity is as near normal as possible.”

Dr SS Sathappan

Dr. SS Sathappan

Dr. SS Sathappan is Medical Director of Bone and Joint Specialist Clinic. He is trained in orthopedic surgery. He has special interest in adult reconstructive surgery (joint replacement), sports surgery and management of complex pelvic and acetabular trauma and was the first surgeon to perform customized joint replacement. Other procedures he performs include live-fibula graft surgery in avascular necrosis (AVN) of the hip and hip resurfacing procedures, key-hole meniscal and ligament reconstruction procedures. His interest in optimizing high-flexion in patients had led to his involvement in design options through international multi-center clinical research groups. He also performs robotic joint replacement surgery (MAKOplasty®).

Apart from clinical practice, Dr. Sathappan was Adjunct Assistant Professor and also Clinical tutor in NUS, Specialty Board Member for the Chapter of Orthopedic Surgeons (Singapore), Clinical Research coordinator; ATLS Course Instructor; and BCLS Course Instructor. He has written numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters in several orthopedic textbooks. Annually, he is involved in numerous international hip and knee orthopedic meetings as invited faculty where he often lectures in various subspecialties. He has also been trained in acupuncture and provides treatment to selected patients with chronic joint and back pain.

Dr. Sathappan has won numerous awards during his training years and as a consultant in a restructured hospital. His most recent achievement was the EXSA Superstar Award (2009) for which he was the recipient for four consecutive years for the Gold Award since 2005. Other awards included Yahya Cohen Surgical award (2008), NUS teaching excellence award (2007/08), NHG Quality Pillar Award (2007/08); Best Clinical Practice Improvement Program award (2007); Young Orthopedic Investigator award (2007); Hip & Knee Arthritis and Reconstruction Scholarship (Hip & Knee Society, USA 2005); Supple best student in medicine award (1995).

Interested patients can contact the following address in Dhaka, Bangladesh for services in Farrer Park Hospital.

Ms. Farzana Wali Liza @+8801783929292
International Medical Consultants (IMC)
Sky Touch, (2nd floor), 43/R, 5/C, Panthopath, Dhaka 1205, Bangladesh


This article has been posted by a News Hour Correspondent. For queries, please contact through [email protected]
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