Dr. Gurpal Singh, Orthopaedic Surgeon attached to Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital – Singapore, was
recently in Sri Lanka at the invitation of the Sri Lanka Orthopaedic Association (SLOA). He was the guest
of honour at its 14 th Annual Academic Session’s Inauguration Ceremony and delivered the oration,
“Evolution of Musculoskeletal Oncology” which explored the latest developments in the diagnosis and
treatment of orthopaedic oncology or cancer in the musculoskeletal system.
Explaining the progress in the field of orthopaedic since he began his surgical training, Dr. Gurpal
explained that the training of orthopaedic surgeons is more regulated now, with residency programmes
offering frequent subspecialty rotations. Technology also plays a major role in the trainings, clinical
practice, and surgeries. “Some of the recent technological advancements in the field of orthopaedic
include robotic-assisted surgery and 3D printing, new implant materials, engineered stem cells, fast-
track rehabilitation, orthobiologicals, and minimally invasive surgical techniques,” he said.
Detailing some of the limitations that have been overcome in orthopaedic oncology, Dr. Gurpal
explained how amputations which were considered the gold standard for local treatment of bone cancer
are no longer the norm. “Surgeons can now operate safely on large tumors thanks to improved systemic
cancer therapy, superior biomaterials, and enhanced implant designs. Additionally, increasingly refined
surgical techniques have enabled complex nervous and vascular reconstructions,” he explained.
Additionally, patients who sustain bone breaks, known as pathological fractures, due to underlying bone
cancer were traditionally treated with amputation. However, recent data indicate that limb-salvage
surgery can be safely performed for patients with pathological fractures, subject to carefully following
Dr. Gurpal who subspecialises in orthopaedic oncology, joint replacement, complex limb reconstruction
and sports injuries, has over 15 years of experience in treating bone and soft tissue tumours (benign and
malignant), robotic-assisted joint replacement, complex limb reconstruction, and arthroscopic (keyhole)
surgeries of the hip and knee, including sports injuries and meniscus/ligament reconstruction.
Sri Lanka Orthopaedic Association (SLOA) represents the orthopaedic surgical fraternity of Sri Lanka and
is committed to the improvement of the standard of care given to orthopaedic and trauma patients at
“I can say with all sincerity that I am truly impressed by the commitment of the young Sri Lankan
surgeons to enhance their knowledge and surgical skill set,” Dr. Gurpal shared his thoughts about the
long-standing collaborative relationship with the SLOA, where he has been involved in scientific
meetings as well as teaching workshops aiming to prepare Sri Lankan Orthopaedic Residents for
internationally recognized medical fellowship exams.
“As a firm believer in continuous medical education, I strongly believe that continuous engagement and
ongoing discussions are to the benefit of all parties involved. Ultimately, as a doctor, it is our duty and
privilege to serve the patients who entrust us with their wellbeing,” he said.
Dr. Gurpal is currently involved in research on increasing life span of joint replacements, preventing
infection and early failure of joint replacements.