ACL Surgery Cost


Tearing an ACL is a devastating injury, particularly for those who participate in sports but even for those people who only have a moderately active lifestyle. Regaining full functional use of the knee is covered elsewhere on this site but this article covers the ACL surgery cost and the equally burdensome cost of ACL recovery.

If you live in a European country, or some other location with a National Health Service, then it may be the speed of service that is of most concern, not the cost of service. However, in the US the cost of health care is of utmost concern even with an insurance plan in place. Deductibles and limitations of service mean that the cost of both ACL surgery and recovery are keenly felt by the injured party.

The following is an overview of the service and costs I incurred both pre- and post ACL surgery:

Emergency Room = $2,071

Surgeon Consultation = $317

MRI Scan = $3,698

Knee Brace = $686

Further Surgeon Consultations = $424

Pre-Surgery Physical Therapy = $1,656

ACL Surgery = $37,160

Post-surgery Physical Therapy (total PT sessions in one year limited to 20 by my insurer) = $3,864

Post-Surgery Surgeon Consultations = $636

Estimated Pharmacy Costs = $100

Total = $50,612

Some of these costs were covered by my health insurance but by no means all of them and, to the detriment of my recovery, the number of PT visits was limited to 20. Actually, this was 20 for any injury through the course of the year so if I had already used up my allocation before injuring my ACL then the available PT sessions both pre and post ACL surgery would have been zero.

As we saw when looking at knee strengthening exercises pre-surgery it is extremely important to establish a minimum of 120 degrees range of motion before surgery can take place. Similarly, the immediate goal for knee strengthening post-surgery is to establish a straight leg and to achieve over 135 degrees of bend. Given the potential lack of PT sessions available (either through insurance limitations in the US, lack of funds in the US, or lack of service in places like the UK) then an alternative guide is required to enable these goals to be met.

A good start is to sign-up for the free mini-course on the right hand side of this page. This will introduce the reader to many of the concepts required to establish a work-at-home alternative to expensive PT. In addition to PT exercises, an ACL surgery recovery timeline is essential in establishing where you are in the overall rehabilitation process. This then ensures that the progression with exercises is in line with the stage of recovery.