Ong Ye Kung suspends home visits after partial knee replacement to address old football injury

Over 10 years ago, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung tore the meniscus in his right knee while playing football in a labour union tournament. PHOTO: ONG YE KUNG/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - Health Minister Ong Ye Kung underwent a partial knee replacement at the National University Hospital (NUH) on Monday, and will be cutting down on external engagements while he recovers.

In a Facebook post, Mr Ong said that rehabilitation will take six weeks, during which he hopes to be able to go about daily activities, such as going to the office and attending meetings, after a couple of days of rest.

He will cut down on external engagements, which also means suspending home visits that involve a lot of climbing of stairs, he added.

Mr Ong said that more than 10 years ago, he tore the meniscus in his right knee while playing football in a labour union tournament.

The cartilage then wore out quickly, and he said he had been experiencing bone on bone pain in the right knee.

He had to give up activities he enjoyed – football, long-distance running and long hikes – and started cycling, swimming and taking shorter walks instead, with occasional wushu and taekwondo sessions.

Since Singapore has shifted back to green on the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition or Dorscon framework, Mr Ong discussed with his doctor and decided to undergo the surgery, which was successfully completed on Monday morning.

“So my right knee is now half titanium,” he said. 

Partial knee replacement is generally considered elective surgery. Many such procedures were delayed or cancelled here amid the Covid-19 pandemic to ease the load on the healthcare system.

Mr Ong thanked the team at NUH for “performing the surgery so competently, and taking care of me”. 

“The doctors, nurses and therapists have been most kind and helpful. Bravo!”

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