Questions and Answers from Dr Siow Hua Ming

Dr Siow Hua Ming
Orthopaedic Surgeon
Providence Orthopaedics (Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital)
38 Irrawaddy Road ,#08-54, Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre, Singapore 329563
Questions Answered
I had a ACL injury 3 weeks back. MRI Scanning - complete tear of the femoral attachment of the ACL with intact tibial attachment. The doctor suggested a reconstruction surgery. I have been taking the anti inflammatory medicines, doing icing on the knee and use bandage to compress the area on a regular basis. The swelling has subsidized a bit but not much. Is it normal that the swelling get subsidized in a very slow pace? Or any other causes? How long does it usually takes the swelling to go off?

The swelling can take several weeks to resolve as the injury can be quite traumatic. You can also have injuries to the meniscus and cartilage as well, which increase the swelling further and result in a longer time to recover. You should proceed with surgery if possible as that will give you the best outcome and resolution of your symptoms.

Recently I asked you a question regarding my stiff neck. I tried doing neck exercises but when I was tilting my neck, there was a sound. It sounded like the sound when we crack our fingers. Is it okay or a cause of concern? Also, I tried doing the neck exercises continuously for days but it does not help much. Should I see a doctor at the Polyclinic?

It is quite common to have clicks in the neck when doing neck exercises, you should not be alarmed by this. Neck exercises will help your stiff neck, but they must be performed  a few times daily for several weeks to achieve full effect. You may want to be supervised during this period by a physiotherapist. If there is no improvement after this time, you should certainly see an orthopaedic doctor for further assessment.

Recently, I carried a heavy rack and I hurt my back. I did not see a doctor. Whenever I watch videos on my iPad, after an hour, my neck starts to become stiff. Also, when I turn my neck 90 degrees to talk to others, after a while, my neck will hurt. Is my neck pain related to my earlier back injury? Is there anything I can do to reduce the stiffness and pain in my neck?

It is possible that the neck pain is related to the back strain, especially if the neck was injured at the same time.

You can take painkillers and do neck exercises for the stiffness and pain. Other options to treat the neck include physiotherapy and shockwave therapy.  

Hai Dokter Siow. Saya mengalami kram tungkai di malam hari ketika tidur. Hal ini telah berlangsung selama beberapa hari. Saya dulu menderita kanker otak. Apakah kedua hal ini terkait satu sama lain?

Kram tungkai bisa terjadi akibat aktivitas berlebihan, dehidrasi, ketidakseimbangan elektrolit, pengobatan, atau aliran darah yang buruk ke tungkai.
Pada kebanyakan kasus, tidak ada penyebab pasti yang dapat ditemukan.
Hal ini cukup umum terjadi ketika Anda bertambah usia. 
Pada kasus Anda, riwayat kanker otak sebelumnya, dan perawatan kanker bisa menyebabkan Anda menjadi lebih rentan terhadap kram.
Penting juga untuk memastikan bahwa tidak terjadi kanker rekurens (berulang/kambuh). Silakan kunjungi neurologis (dokter spesialis saraf) atau dokter spesialis bedah saraf Anda segera untuk memastikan diagnosis.

Bahu kanan saya terasa nyeri selama 6 bulan terakhir, bahkan mengangkat tangan kanan saya saja terasa sangat menyakitkan. Saya mengunjungi dokter dan beliau meresepkan beberapa obat pereda nyeri. Saya dapat mengangkat tangan saya sekarang. Tapi ketika bekerja seharian di depan komputer, saya masih merasakan nyeri. Mohon saran Anda mengenai penyakit apa yang saya derita, karena saya telah mengunjungi dokter dan menurut beliau ini disebabkan oleh penggunaan berlebihan. Mohon saran untuk dokter spesialis yang harus saya kunjungi dan kira-kira apa penyakitnya. Terima kasih banyak dan hormat saya,

You may have a frozen shoulder. This occurs when there is inflammation within the shoulder joint and it results in pain and stiffness. Usually this resolves with a period of physiotherapy.

You may also have inflammation or a tear of one of the tendons in the shoulder. You will require medical attention for this.

Please see an orthopaedic specialist for further assessment.

Hi Doc, can vit. B12 help to relieve sciatica? Thanks.

Vitamin B12 can relieve sciatica if you have a deficiency of vitamin B12, and if there are no other investigated causes for it.

You have to rule out any pressure on the sciatic nerve from a slipped disc, bone spurs, tumour, spine malalignment or tightness of the muscles around the nerve.

You will also need to check your vitamin B12 levels to see if you have a deficiency.

If so, you will require B12 supplementation in the form of tablets or injections to restore your B12 levels.