The ankle replacement surgery is traditionally performed from the anterior but a lateral surgical method allows the doctor to cut through the cartilage along the joint curvature, removing fewer healthy bones, posing a lower risk of post-surgical complications and allowing for a greater range of joint movements after surgery. Dr Anandakumar S/O Vellasamy, Consultant, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Sengkang General Hospital, who was trained in Switzerland, performed the first lateral ankle replacement surgery in Southeast Asia, helping patients achieve better results in their joint movement after surgery. He explained that for patients with severe ankle arthritis, the bones are already rubbing against each other and resulting in bone loss and damage. A lateral ankle replacement surgery ensures lesser bone loss, making it suitable for such patients. Dr Anandakumar also said that because artificial joints can be damaged by wear and tear and as the implant is estimated to last for 25 years, hence he would only recommend it for patients 60 years old and above. 66-year-old Mr Bok, an engineer, the first patient in Southeast Asia to receive the lateral ankle replacement surgery, accepted the new surgical method in order to resolve the pain that he is experiencing from an ankle arthritis condition so that he may be able to work again. Based on a five-day stay at the hospital, a lateral ankle replacement surgery might cost between $5,000 and $25,000, inclusive of surgical and implant fees, depending on the amount of government subsidies and MediSave applicable to the patient.
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