ACL tear surgery

What is the cost of ACL tear surgery?

ACL tear surgery (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) tear is the most common knee injury. It is commonly experienced by people who participate in high-risk sports, such as basketball, skiing, football, etc. A lot of the time,

ACL tear surgery (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) tear is the most common knee injury. It is commonly experienced by people who participate in high-risk sports, such as basketball, skiing, football, etc. A lot of the time, a pop sound or a popping sensation is felt when the injury occurs. You may experience severe pain, rapid swelling in your knee, and instability. 

You can choose to treat the injury either surgically or non-surgically, depending on the severity of the tear, your age, your work (whether you’re an athlete or are into high-risk sports), etc. 

The surgical procedure is known as an ACL tear or reconstruction surgery. It is performed by an orthopedic specialist.  

ACL tear surgery costs between INR 1,20,000 to INR 1,50,000 in India, however, the exact cost for your ACL tear surgery may change, depending on several factors. 

What are the factors affecting the cost of ACL tear surgery?

The cost of ACL tear surgery is much lower in India compared to other countries, like the USA, Singapore, Canada, etc. 

The factors affecting the cost of ACL tear surgery are:

  • Surgeon’s fee
  • Type of implant used
  • City and the hospital where the surgery is performed 
  • The severity of the damage 
  • The number of days you stay in the hospital
  • If the patient also has other knee injuries such as meniscus injuries or PCL injuries.

The type of anesthesia used also plays a role in deciding the cost of the surgery. Generally, two types of anesthesia are used, general and spinal. General is more costly than spinal as it numbs the entire body while spinal focuses on numbing a specific area- everything below the waist. The cost may also increase if there are any complications experienced during the surgery. 

Overview of ACL reconstruction surgery 

Treatment for ACL tear depends on the extent of your injury and whether you will benefit from the surgery. If you’re an athlete, you may want the surgery along with physical therapy. The surgical treatment involves replacing the damaged ligament with a replacement tissue, called a graft. There are three types of grafts used:

  1. Autograft: Tendon is used from somewhere else in your body (another knee, thigh, etc.)
  2. Allograft: Tendon is used from a deceased donor.
  3. Synthetic Graft: This is when artificial materials replace the tendon. 

The surgeon will drill sockets or tunnels into your thigh bone and shin bone to accurately position the graft. The graft is then secured to the bones with screws or other devices. 

The entire procedure takes about an hour to complete and most people can go home the same day itself. 

When should you consider ACL reconstruction surgery?

When non-surgical methods of healing the ligament do not work, ACL tear surgery is the last resort. A child who hasn’t reached skeletal maturity yet is advised to wait for surgery or choose the non-surgical treatment as early ACL reconstruction may lead to the risk of growth plate injury further leading to bone growth problems. 

You may require an ACL repair surgery when:

  • You’re an athlete and want to continue playing your sport
  • More than one of your ligaments are injured
  • Your work requires a stable knee and the ACL tear has caused instability in your knee
  • Your meniscus is torn and requires repair
  • You have additional intra-articular damage

What happens if you delay your surgery?

The outcome of delaying the surgery may vary from person to person. Most can function and perform their daily tasks which involve walking, climbing stairs, etc. However, some tend to experience buckling episodes due to which they aren’t able to perform activities like running, jumping, changing directions suddenly, etc. 

Repeated buckling may cause injury to other structures of the knee, such as the meniscus and the cartilage. 

What are the risks and complications of undergoing ACL reconstruction surgery?

With surgery comes risk. There are a few risks that may be possible, these include:

  • Bleeding from the wound
  • Blood clots 
  • Infections
  • Trouble urinating
  • Breathing difficulties
  • A graft not healing well
  • Stiffness in the knee
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Blood vessels may lose their function

The average cost of ACL reconstruction surgery is between INR 1,20,000 to INR 1,50,000. The cost depends on various factors which include the admission cost, surgeon’s cost, which hospital you’re in, type of anesthesia being used, etc.  ACL tear surgeries have a success rate of around 80-90%. Successful ACL reconstruction surgery with rehabilitation can usually restore stability and function in your knee.

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