Monthly Archives - May 2015

Barefoot Running and Walking, Come Bare Your Sole!

Dr Kevin Lee was recently interviewed on 93.8 LIVE on the pros and cons barefoot running and walking, as well as the upcoming Bare Your Soul charity walk. Read the summary of his interview and sharing below.

Barefoot Running

Barefoot running, or natural running without shoes, is an up and coming running trend in Singapore. The topic on whether one should run barefoot or not is a controversial with many strong proponents and opponents.

Naturally, if you observe young children running or walking, you would see that their mid or forefoot would always strike the ground first. However, when running with a shoe, you would often need to strike heel first especially if the shoe is heavily padded or cushioned. That is the fundamental difference between barefoot running and running with shoes.

The pros of barefoot running include developing a more natural gait and strengthening the muscles, tendons and ligaments in the foot, which you will not normally use as much with shoes on. However, the cons of barefoot running are the likely injury from inappropriate stance. Dr Lee warns that individuals who wish to try out barefoot running for the very first time should be extremely careful. It is vital that they properly transit to striking mid or forefoot first when running barefoot. If they still use their heel to first strike the ground, it is likely to cause heel pain and injuries like plantar fascitisachilles tendinits and even stress fractures.

Barefoot Walking

Barefoot walking is an easier, safer and more natural option to barefoot running. You do not have to worry about injuring yourself with striking the ground first using inappropriate part of the foot since one of your feet is always on the ground. There are however two things to note: take softer steps when you first start trying barefoot walking; find safer terrain like grass or sand when barefoot walking. There is possibility of injuries from cuts, foreign objects and heat or chilling terrains. You also need to be careful when walking in places with unknown or poor hygiene conditions of getting parasitic hookworm infection from your bare sole.

Bare Your Soul Charity Walk

Bare Your Soul is a barefoot charity walk, organised annually by Habitat for Humanity Singapore to raise awareness and funds for the poor communities that Habitat serves locally and abroad. It will be held at Palawan Beach, Sentosa this coming Saturday from 8am to 12pm. It is a great opportunity for you to walk a mile in the shoes of children living in poverty without access to proper footware.

Dr Lee recommends Bare Your Soul participants to practise short barefoot walking distances first before going. And remember to "Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate" (RICE) if you ever experience any pain or discomfort, during or after the charity walk!


Well-received Health Talk at 360° Health Management Seminar 2015

During his most recent health talk on cartilage injuries and knee osteoarthritis, Dr Kevin Lee was flooded with questions from the audience. Dr Lee spoke at the first Mind Your Body 360° Health Management Health Seminar held on 16 June 2015. The health seminar was very well-received with its full attendance of 500 people. Dr Lee even had to stay back to answer questions after time ran out for his health talk's scheduled Q&A session.


Knee Pain and Makoplasty Knee Surgery Query

Dr Kevin Lee answered a Lianhe Zaobao reader's query on Makoplasty knee surgery. The 57-year-old reader has knee pain for nearly 3 years. This knee pain has been worsening despite him taking Glucosamine and it has recently gotten to a point where it is very painful for him to climb stairs.

Is Makoplasty knee surgery suitable for him to treat his knee pain?

Makoplasty knee surgery is the newest technique using a single robotic arm to help the doctor with partial knee replacement. Makoplasty is suitable for patients with unicompartmental arthritis of the knee.

The orthopaedic doctor would first use CT scan to plan the Makoplasty surgery before operating on the patient using the robot arm. The entire procedure is very precise and effective in treating the knee pain without damaging the healthy parts of the knee joint. Makoplasty's recovery time is short and can help prevent further damage to your entire knee joint. The replacement can generally lasts 15-20 years for a patient above 50 years old.

Orthopaedic doctors would assess the patient's age, location and severity of the worn cartilage to decide on the surgery technique to use. The doctor would usually look at the biological, instead of chronological, age of the patient.

Is Makoplasty knee surgery also used to repair meniscus tear?

Meniscus tear requires arthroscopic keyhole surgery to repair, and cannot be treated with Makoplasty.

Repairing Knee Cartilage

For a start, patients with worn knee cartilage can take painkillers or go for Hyaluronic acid injection to alleviate the pain. However, Hyaluronic acid injection is only effective for around 10 months each time and for the first two to three shots. As for patients who take Glucosamine, there is no need to continue its intake if they do not experience any symptom relief after six months.

Other possible treatments following the medications and injections include:


360° Health Management Seminar 2015 by Mind Your Body

Dr Kevin Lee will be speaking at the 360° Health Management Seminar to be held on 16 May 2015 at The Star Gallery @ The Star Performing Arts Centre. The 360° Health Management Seminar is an inaugural event by Mind Your Body, The Straits Times. It focuses on important health topics for the public's management of their health conditions for better living. Dr Kevin Lee will speak about common knee injuries and its pain management, as well as new surgery techniques.

Do sign up for the seminar before 13 May if you're keen, and see you there!