ACL Surgery Singapore

Dr. Bryan Tan


Dr Bryan Tan is a fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeon with 20+ years of experience in the surgical treatment for sports and non-sports related ACL tears and injuries. Prior to private practice, he was a consultant orthopaedic surgeon in National University Hospital (NUH), Singapore. 

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears are extremely common injuries usually sustained during sports. Thousands of ACL reconstruction surgeries are performed in Singapore every year. 

ACL tears result in instability of the knee which predisposes the patient to frequent twisting injuries to the knee which will put other structures in the knee at risk of repeated injuries. In addition, the risk of developing arthritis in the ACL-injured knee is higher than in an uninjured knee. 

Symptoms Of ACL Tear

The ACL provides strong support of the knee and helps to limit rotation and forward movement of the tibia, one of the long bones located in the lower leg. However, any sudden twist or change of direction may cause it to tear. Some of the symptoms of ACL injury include:

  • Hearing or feeling a “pop” coming from the knee
  • Tenderness along the joint line
  • Pain and swelling of the knee
  • Reduced range of motion and difficulty walking
  • A sensation of something tearing inside the knee

How Is ACL Tear Diagnosed?

Usually your doctor will have a strong suspicion that you have torn your ACL. However, he will usually proceed to order an MRI scan for further evaluation. Here are some other ways that ACL tear can be diagnosed:

Physical Examination

Your doctor may perform an in-depth examination of your symptoms and review your medical history to determine the cause of your injury.

To rule out ACL tear, your doctor may use the Lachman test to assess the integrity of your anterior cruciate ligament

Imaging Test

Imaging procedures such as x-rays, ultrasounds, MRIs, and CT scans may be recommended by your doctor to see the interior structure of your knee and provide a conclusive diagnosis of an ACL tear.

Is your ACL tear affecting your quality of life, and your ability to perform everyday activities such as working, playing sports and wearing your clothes?
Dr. Bryan will assess your symptoms in detail before recommending the right treatment plan for your condition.

How To Treat ACL Tear?

Most complete ruptures of the ACL require surgical reconstruction. In some patients, the ACL rupture may be partial. In these patients, they may be able to cope without requiring any surgery, depending on their symptoms.

I do not, however, recommend surgery for every patient who may have suffered a complete ACL tear. I have, in the past, advised patients against ACL surgeries. An example would be a slightly older patient, perhaps, in his mid 50s and is not particularly active. Being inactive, it is not likely that an ACL deficient knee will impair him in any way.

Most young and active patients, however, will be better off undergoing an ACL reconstruction surgery. 

Anatomy of the Knee Joint

The knee joint is a hinged joint, made up of 3 bones: the femur (thigh bone), the tibia (shin bone) and the patella (kneecap).

As the knee joint is a hinged joint, the main movement that occurs at the knee is in one plane – bending and straightening. However, a little bit of rotation does occur when the knee is fully straightened.

The knee joint is covered with a smooth cartilage that ensures frictionless movements. In addition, 2 crescent-shaped cartilaginous structures known as meniscii (or meniscus is the singular form of the word) exist between the femur and the tibia.

The menisci help to enhance conformity between the femur and the tibia, but also act as shock absorbers during impact experienced during weight bearing.

Four (4) main ligaments attached on each end to the femur and tibia help to maintain stability of the joint. There are 2 collateral ligaments and 2 cruciate ligaments. The ACL and its counterpart, the PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) are arranged in a cross pattern when viewed from the side.

The ACL is so named because it is placed in front of the PCL (hence the term “anterior”), and originates from the back of the femur, travels distal and anteriorly, and is attached to the top of the tibia, within the knee joint.

The collateral ligaments prevent the knee from opening up side to side, while the cruciate ligaments prevent the tibia from sliding forwards and backwards. The cruciate ligaments, however, have an arguably even more important function; they also prevent excessive rotatory movements from occurring at the knee joint.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is ACL Reconstruction Surgery?
What is an ACL graft?
What is recovery like?
Will I be able to return to my normal sporting activities?
How can I get the best results after an ACL Reconstruction Surgery?
What are the Risks and Complications from ACL Reconstruction Surgery?
What Are The Factors Contributing to An Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury in Non-Athletes?
How long will I recover from ACL reconstruction surgery?
Can my ACL heal on its own?

Billing & Payment

Medisave & Insurance Claims

The following are accredited For Singaporeans, Singapore Permanent Residents and Foreigners. If your insurance is not listed, you will still be able to make claims for eligible procedures! We have experience processing claims from many other various insurance providers. Please contact us if you have any queries.


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OrthoSports: Dr. Bryan Tan's Clinic

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