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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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2005-11-14, 16:01:17 from United States  
How much will it cost for an ACL surgery without insurance, and is there a way that I wont have to pay for it out of my own pocket.
2005-11-14, 17:19:28
Peter (Author) from United States  
Oscar, I have all the numbers there and the surgery alone is 2500, but you probably want anasthesea also, makes another 2000 and they cannot do it in your driveway, so you get to pay for the surgery room as well, another 2000 in my case..

I'm sorry you tore your ACL. I did it on Easter Sunday this year, because I did not listen to my inner voice (to stop skiing for the day). I also tore the meniscus as I wrote above..

If you do not have insurance, good luck. Here in California the county will pay for things but only if it is threatening to lose of life or a limb. Since your leg is not going to fall off without an ACL, I think my county would not pay you. But it might be different in your area - you did not state this. Now, 6 months after the surgery the knee is already pretty strong but nowhere near where it was before. I exercise in the gym for at least 1 hour at least on 5 days a week, afterwards still icing. I feel it was the right decision though and I would recommend everyone, if you want to do it ever, do it today and not tomorrow.
2005-11-21, 15:55:46
Lisa from United States  
My knee's MRI cost $1200, in California also. You did not mention that price in your article. The meniscus was found to be fine in the MRI but now I am still in pain. It has been 18 months.
2006-02-28, 11:05:14
anonymous from United States  
great information
2006-03-07, 10:12:31
anonymous from United States  
i just got quoted $3,000 - $5,000 for my after insurance out of pocket expense (south carolina)
2006-03-29, 06:56:02
anonymous from United States  
Oh my, this is the most interesting info i have heard........I am scheduled to get my surgery tommorrow and they said i had a torn main Ligament in the Knee from a hard fall on the right leg from a tall fence.........but I have insurance but they pay After I have met the thousand dollar deductible and then i will still have to pay 20 Percent more of the costs after that has been met............up to $3,000 and then they start to pay all expenses after I am not sure how much as they will not tell me at the facility before the surgery. I guess I really dont' care how much it costs since I want my leg back but i don't want to be broke, I have a mortgage and bills to pay and my short term disablitity claim has not been approved yet so my job is only covering up to 40 percent of my paycheck now..........that check was less than my check when i first started working over 30 years ago at 3.35 per hour!!!!! so they need to get that claim approved so i can get the other 60 percent otherwise my bills are going to be out of hand!!!!! I have always paid on time and my credit is good!!!!!!!
2006-04-07, 07:01:54
anonymous from Canada  
I live in Canada and had ACL repair and removal of the meniscus due to excessive damage. Stayed overnight in the hospital and am undergoing physio. Total cost for everything including physio is ZERO thanks to our Canadian Health Care System. I did have to pay $200 for a brace that is partially covered by my employers health plan.
2006-04-17, 07:53:17
anonymous from United States  
my daughter tore her acl in a power puff football game at school .norton hospital in kentucky charged us $31000.00 the anisteoligyst $2400.00 mri $1500.00 Doctor $3200.00 theripy $900.00 the school insurance paid $1255.00 left me holding the bag for $39000.00 i would love to have more info on this subject kim blessitt my e mail is
2006-04-18, 21:49:37
anonymous from United States  
Hi there,

Good question.

I don't know the actual cost of the surgery, but my out of pocket co-pay with Kaiser Permanente in Colorado has been around

$150.00 - Surgery
$40.00 - $4.00 X 10 Days - Continuous Passive Motion (CPM) machine rental
$20.00 - $10.00 X 2 prescriptions of pain killer medicine (Percocet)
$100.00 - $25.00 X 4 Office Visits (1st Visit, Pre-Operative, Post-Operative X 2)
$240.00 - $15.00 X 16 Physical Therapy Sessions
2006-04-19, 03:53:48
surfeatsleep from Netherlands  
Does anyone know the cost of a meniscus surgery, cause I've been quoted $2500 for a simple meniscus surgery. I have no insurance by the way... Thank you.
2006-04-19, 11:56:46
Peter (Admin) from United States  
to surf-eat-sleep:

the 2500 for the 'simple' meniscus surgery is probably not the whole cost. You saw in my example up there how they originally asked 2500 for the ACL/ meniscus repair .. but then there were all the other costs..
An insurance can always bring down the price, I hope you have it.
2006-04-23, 16:46:49
anonymous from United States  
hey, my acl surgery costs came out to 33,000. i had it done at U Penn. I had the cadaver graft too. That might be why the cost is ridiculous.
2006-04-24, 07:18:29
anonymous from United States  
hey u peen surgery person good to hear i am not the only 1 with a big bill according to nortons charge sheet the graft tindon cost $10900.00 for that piece of donated tindon.sure would like to sell them some mussel i no i dont use them all.
2006-04-25, 15:22:38
anonymous from United States  
if your graft cost 10,900 how much was the total costs of surgery including graft and hospital stay? and where did you find nortons charge sheet?
2006-04-26, 07:23:41
anonymous from United States  
norton hospital 3 hours outpatient total with graft $31145.50
mri $1551.00
reading mri $152.00
anesthesiology $2340.00
surgeon $3330.80
physical therapy $1000.00

This was outpatient there was no stay she was only there 3 hours total I got these prices straight off the bills they say I owe even though my daughter was hurt in a school sponsored event in which the school was collecting admission
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