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How much does ACL reconstruction cost?


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I am considering ACL reconstructive surgery - what kind of cost do I have to expect. I live in the USA.


The answer to how much *you* will have to pay varies on many factors, in particular on whether you have health insurance and how much your insurance will cover.

In my case I was diganosed (from an MRI) that I had a torn ACL but my meniscus seemed ok according to the MRI.

During the surgery they found that the meniscus was partially torn (75% tear) and they stitched it.

Every service in this procedure is billed and paid separately:

- your doctor who orders the MRI
- the MRI
- the surgeon who performes the ACL reconstruction
- the anesthesia
- the surgeon's assistant(!)
- the hospital (facility) where it all happens
- afterwards the physical therapy

The following numbers will be first what each instance was billed at, followed in () how much I actually paid. Note that my insurance negotiated in most cases on the billable amount, e.g. the facility was billed by the hospital at $2081 for those 4 hours, my insurance negotiated it down to $1600, the insurance paid $1440 and I paid $160.

- your doctor who orders the MRI
$700 ($260)

- the MRI
fully paid by insurance

- the surgeon who performes the ACL reconstruction and meniscus repair
$2500 ($250)

- the anesthesia
$2000 ($250)

- the hospital (facility) where it all happens
$2000 ($160)

- afterwards the physical therapy
$70 ($15) per visit, expect 16-24 visits = ~ $300 co-pay

I would say that the surgery is definitely worth it if you plan to live an active lifestyle. It sure depends also on at what stage in life you are. After the surgery make sure to get the leg *fully* straight right away or you are looking into several months of painful attempts to stretch a shortened muscle. (That's what happened to me, unfortunately.)

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2006-08-17, 13:49:34
anonymous from United States  
2006-09-01, 15:02:40
anonymous from United States  
I tore my ACL back in July playing in a summer basketball league....... And I still havent had surgery yet!! (Mainly because I dont have any insurance) I was wondering whta the pros and cons are of not having acl surgery??? does anyone know? thank you!!!!
2006-09-03, 11:17:43
anonymous from United States  
I'd say a Pro to not having the surgery without insurance is - Not owing the Medical Field up to $50,000. The Cons depend on the severity of the 'tear'. If you play the following and are an athlete, I'd consider owing 50k
High-Demand Sports: Football Soccer Basketball Skiing Gymnastics
Hockey (Ice and Field) Wrestling Lacrosse Rugby Singles Tennis Cheerleading
Moderate-Demand Sports: Baseball Doubles Tennis Track (Field Events)
Low-Demand Sports: Running/Jogging Cycling Crew

The anterior cruciate ligament is one of four primary ligaments around the knee joint. It is an important stabilizer of the knee. The ACL can be injured by trauma or sporting activities. If the ligament is completely torn, it will not heal. Some individuals elect to leave the knee without an anterior cruciate ligament, and some choose ACL reconstruction of the ligament. If the knee has a deficient anterior cruciate ligament, the individual relies on the other three ligaments (as well as the inherent stability of the joint and surrounding muscles) to stabilize the joint. This is not always sufficient, and may lead to recurrent episodes of instability--a sensation that the knee may 'give out.'

May I sugest requesting searching the World Wide Web, then taking in concideration as to 'your' needs!
2006-09-08, 22:30:25 from United States  
a month and change I had a pop in my knee during soccer, now small injuries are not uncommon, and I don't have health insurance - so I decided to just rest it - now it's still hurts and my leg is straight, but not, if that makes any sense. I can still play soccer, but if I turn sharply a specific way, it buckles or hurts, like it's re-tearing. Associates, friends and personal research say it's an ACL tear. I'm considering signing up for health insurance, waiting a month, and then trying to get it looked at by a doctor. Any ideas or suggestions on what I can do to rehab it as best as possible until then? I can pretty much walk around and do everything, but I have a slight, mostly unnoticable limp. I can run, but I know I'm not 100%.

this is my first injury ever, and I'm a very active 28 year old male.

any responses would be greatly appreciated.
2006-09-15, 12:58:22 from United States  
ACL Surgery at Presbyterian Hospital in NYC:

Hospital: $12,000
Anasthesia: $1,700
Doctor: $8,000
2006-09-21, 15:13:03
anonymous from United States  
im in NYC and have a 'partially' damaged ACL. my knee is very swollen, and the doctor believes there is an infection in the knee , based on blood tests that he ordered after an MRI. To clean out the knee they want to charge me $19.000. is this legitimate or madness. i know of someone who had arthroscopic surgery at the same hospital , and same doctor for $10.000 . i have no insurance and they said they would work something out. but this seems like a fleecing.....can anybody shed some light on this
2006-09-29, 12:33:04
anonymous from Canada  
re meniscus repair - here is an interesting link
(the doctor, Jackson, who fixed my right knee is mentioned in the article and I had done for 'free' in Toronto now he is the chief at Baylor and I just went to the guy who took up his practice - also a expert among experts - for my left knee and he tells me I'll have to wait a year to see him! I guess I'll have to go to another surgeon with less of a reputation. I can't wait a year I just bought $600 skates.)
2006-10-09, 06:48:00 from United States  
I just got part of my estimate for my ACL & Meniscus surgery..........
ACL reconstruction 4640.00
Arthroscopy with meniscectomy medial or latral, including any meniscal shaving 1300.00
This is for the Primary Surgeon only
Then for the asstistant Surgeon

Now I have to go and get the rest of the cost before I can schedule my surgery.

The MRI was 500.00 and that was not done at the hospital I went to an imaging place about 50 miles from where I live to save 800.00

Shannon in Texas
2006-10-18, 04:11:38
anonymous from United States  
health care in the USA is criminal

the doctors do good work but they and the entire health care profession rob people so i don't know if they are good people or not
2006-10-19, 07:45:16 from United States  
I just got the estimate for the cost of the hospital and it is going to be $10,080.00 and then they told me that I should add 5% to that to get what it will probably cost. If they have to do anything else. That still isn't including the anesthesiology. We will see.
2006-10-19, 21:12:57
anonymous from United States  
I had ACL surgery in 1993 when I was a sophomore in high school. I tore my ACL on artificial turf cutting to make a block in a varsity football game. The surgery was so painful and the recovery was very hard. I recovered in 8 months, in time for next year’s football. I played with that reconstructed ACL until my freshman year in college when I tore the reconstructed ACL playing college football. That ended my football career and for the last 10 years I have lived without an ACL. I avoid spots that require cutting and jumping, but I do snowboard about 12-20 times a year, and actively mountain bike in the summers. My point is...... no matter how much it costs; the surgery was so painful and didn't work that I will not get it done again

2006-10-19, 21:17:35
anonymous from United States  
2006-11-02, 12:42:38
anonymous from United States  
I am a graduate student, and I have a graduate insurance. But the doctor said it only cover 20 %, So I want to know whether I should do the surgery. And I live in South Carolina.
2006-12-17, 15:27:18
anonymous from United States  
i havent gotten my entire bill yet but this is what i know so far, mri:1320-anesthologist:1970-cpm machine rental $55 a day for 21 days, physical therapy when i start next week is $70 per visit, 3x a week for minimum 6 weeks.... i'll post surgery bill when received, im 4 weeks post-op acl reconstruction
2006-12-30, 00:48:26
anonymous from United States  
I live in San Diego and need ACL surgery without insurance. I had wanted to avoid surgery altogether but looks like I'll have to go ahead with it. Has anyone scouted costs in S. California?
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