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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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2010-02-25, 16:00:23
anonymous from Canada  
first off, wow getting surgey in the states is ridiculously expensive!
i live in canada and tore my acl months ago playing football, here in canada the surgery and everything is free but the problem is the wait time.
ive been on a list to get my surgery for months and i really was interested in going to the states for my surgery before i saw this site.
Our problem is that most of our medical grads run to the US to work and now i see why!
i have an excellent insurance plan here but does anyone know if it will help me save money across the border??
2010-04-01, 10:31:53
j from United States  
Wow, I was charged $4,500 just for the MRI!!!

I don't have insurance and never got my knee fixed. Tore my ACL four years ago, used to run 8-9 miles a day... now im a 260 pound fat blob. Isn't that life threatening? I'm going to start a charity for myself.
2010-04-21, 16:39:20
anonymous from Hendersonville, United States  
K now im scared recent motorcycle crash run off the road on my way to work by a truck driver see anyone in an unmarked metalic blue KW with a white refer who looks scared let me know right elbow ground to bone had surgery to close no bill yet complete MCL and ACL on the right knee with tibial plaeau fx,and lat meniscal tear.Im an er nurse no insurance,heres the rif had been looking for insurance now noone wants to talk to me anyone no of a good company to go with
2010-04-30, 12:40:33
anonymous from United States  
Everyone should definately keep in mind that insurance companies have no magical powers. The reason they are able to negotiate bills is because the hospitals and doctors know they will hold off on paying for a long time. Let the everyone that is billing you know that you are more than willing to make their lives miserable if you don't get discounted. I know people who have had up to half of their medical bills taken off by putting in the leg work. The best thing to do is negotiate before to get the best price possible then negotiate again afterwards to get an even better price. Since they have already done the surgery, they will almost take whatever they can get since they were over charging you to begin with. Just ask yourself how many headaches you are willing to have in order to get 20,000 dollars knock off your final bill. Biggest thing is once you get a good deal, pay it as soon as possible and get it in writing; otherwise they will go for the original amount in court.
2010-05-08, 14:46:37
anonymous from United States  
WCI has screwed up my R shoulder and knee ... refuse to repair other items damaged.
Forced to live with damaged items and long delays by the insurance carrier.

In China, the quality of the doctors are very good. Medicine is the same, except the doctors remember their oaths and are not LAZY to repair you!

2008/10, For a CT of my knee or back cost was 35 usd each; which included the reading of the CT, doctor visit 1 usd, to remove 2 disc in the lumbar area including hospital stay up to 7 day cost 1000 usd (doctor trained in london 20 years ago). PT cost 10 usd per day.
Chinese medical require pay as treated.
Not to worry, they loose face if overcharging a customer.
FACE is big in CHINA!
American doctors couldn't believe the superior service given in China and stated that the treatment in the USA couldn't match it at any price!

Turn around time for service, hospital 1 week or less, CT 90 minutes to have reading in hand, doctor visit 1 hour, PT pay daily...
Go figure 1.3 billion people and a fraction of the cost and time to get well!
Western medicine or CTM is hands on!
Tell you the truth without any BS. Care to make you better, not to keep you ill to make money. You're not a lab rat!

Yes, I do have connections in China. Like any where you go investigate everything! Some cities will charge more if you are not chinese, I am american/ polish/ english.
Some doctors and hospitals are better than others. My primary health care has been in China for many years!

Most Chinese will understand some english... like many people speaking a second language seldom speak it. Most hospitals you can find someone to understand you.
Chinese people will bend over backwards to assist you!

RT airfare ~1200 usd, apt per month 200 usd or hotel cost 20 usd per day, food 5 usd per day, misc cost 150 per month...
BOC exchange rate 6.70rmb to 1usd.
Great buying power!

Like BO said the health care system is broken! You can see the american insurance, doctors, hospitals, and lawyers are in bed together and the hurt guy will seldom win!
2011-10-07, 12:25:36
anonymous from United States  
To the canadian braggin about his zero cost knee surgery....
you're an idiot.

It did cost just didn't have to pay directly for it.
But instead you (and all your countrymen) paid every week...forever.

Its a hefty price tag if you asked me. But I guess you can afford it when you don't have to spend any money on national defense. Enjoy the safety that Americas coattails provides for you.

Good day.
2011-10-10, 10:43:55
anonymous from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia  
i want to know the MRI cost for Knee?
2011-11-13, 05:42:45   (updated: 2011-11-13, 05:45:04)
[hidden] from New Zealand  
i live in new zealand and with our system if you have an accident the government run organization ACC pays for every thing i tore my acl and pcl and a meniscus tear i saw the best surgeon in nz for this procedure and within 3 months i had my surgery and didn't pay a single dollar i also had surgery at a private hospital yeah i am soo great full
2012-01-06, 20:53:36
anonymous from Canada  
Hi. I had not one but TWO ACL surgeries on each knee including meniscus repair on one of my knees. Very interesting topic and conversation! I'd like to add my thoughts. First, I've noticed the length of time athletes take to return to action is getting shorter more and more. I find this astounding given the severity and seriousness of the injury. It usually should take at least 12 months before engaging in athletic activity. Second, I read that someone was told to stand on their knee soon after surgery. This happened to me on my second surgery in 2003. Makes sense since putting weight in linear fashion doesn't affect the ACL. Lateral movement does. This wasn't the case after my first surgery in 1990. Third, I learned the ACL has its own 'nervous system' which explains in part why it take up to two years before the knee fully heals. Fourth, my first surgery used part of my hamstring to graft the knee, the second a tendon. While the latter is thought to be a stronger option, I find the former to bother me less. It doesn't matter since psychologically the injuty impacted me greatly. The last time I played sports at 100% was when I was 15 - the age I sustained my first injury over 22 years ago. In any event, if you're active and plan to remain so, surgery is highly recommended. Finally, as a Canadian, I'd wish my fellow Canadians stop saying it's 'free.' It's not. The average cost of the surgery in Canada ranges anywhere between $10 and $20k. I can't confirm this figure but my point is we pay it through our TAXES. We pay, on average, $3600 per year per person for our non-uniformed (it falls under provincial jurisdiction) universal care. We pay on the front-end is all and with far less control of our own money.
2012-02-21, 19:19:04   (updated: 2012-02-21, 19:19:47)
ARCTrooper J13  
When was this published? I'm on Xbox Live!
2012-03-04, 20:28:57
anonymous from Canada  
am not a canadian but here to visit my sister, i would like also to try and do a surgery while am here because i don't trust the doctors in my country,. i don't know the costs for the doctors and hospitals. could someone please inform me with some details? thanks
2012-04-15, 23:14:35
anonymous from Israel  
ACL reconstruction with Bone Patellar Bone Allograft, medial meniscal repair in my country cost out of pocket $00.00

It's a great system but for the better surgeons ( not all surgeons are the same if you were not aware of this ) there can be a wait.
2012-04-15, 23:14:35
anonymous from Israel  
ACL reconstruction with Bone Patellar Bone Allograft, medial meniscal repair in my country cost out of pocket $00.00

It's a great system but for the better surgeons ( not all surgeons are the same if you were not aware of this ) there can be a wait.
2012-05-22, 19:15:49
anonymous from Canada  
I just had acl reconstruction surgery in Saskatoon , Canada.


Only cost is a post op brace. 125$
Some medication. thats it.
Some PHysio and a few check ups with the surgeon while healing.

I feel sorry for ppl that have little to no insurance in the USA.

2 weeks in and ahead of healing schedule.

Some have commented on here from other countries that it costs lots in Canada.

2012-06-14, 21:59:10 from Rowland Heights, United States  

Hi, this is Jerod Zavistoski with the Institute of Regenerative Medicine MetroMD. I'd like to take some time and explain what it is we do. Kobe Bryant just had a significant knee injury, and flew to germany to undergo an experimental procedure. That procedure was STEM CELL THERAPY. Stem cells, widely recognized for their healing potential, have been kept under lock and key for the past 50 years in the United States. The reason behind that is the moral implication of destroying an embryo. Up until very recently the only place it was thought someone could get stem cells, was that of an umbilical cord or an embryo itself. That fact has changed. We can now extract stem cells straight from your own bone marrow and place them back into an injured site on your body. The results have been astounding. We are watching cartilage re-grow that wasn't previously there. We are seeing 90-100% recoveries in athletic injuries, where even the best surgeries are producing only 75% recovery rate. The procedure is completely non-invasive as well. It's literally and extraction and an injection. The problem that we are facing is that NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT STEM CELLS, and if they have heard about the procedure Kobe just got, they think they have to fly to Germany to get it. Our offices are in Los Angeles, and the procedure only takes a few hours. We'd like to invite you to come down to our office for a free consultation, and if you like what you hear our procedure is only 5k per injury site

Please visit our website to learn more about stem cells, and what we can do for you.
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