Comparing the cost of ACL Repair vs ACL Reconstruction

Comparing the cost of ACL Repair vs ACL Reconstruction

London Cartilage Clinic

Written By London Cartilage Clinic

When facing an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury, understanding the financial implications of various surgical options is crucial for patients. The main options you have are either ACL repair or ACL reconstruction. These surgeries not only differ in technique and recovery outcomes but also significantly in cost due to factors such as graft selection and surgical approaches. This article dives deeper into these costs, helping patients navigate their options with a clear understanding of potential expenses. 

Cost Analysis of ACL Reconstruction vs. Repair 

ACL Reconstruction: 

  • Graft Types and Costs: The process of ACL reconstructing involves taking a tissue graft from another area of the body. The choice of graft plays a critical role in the cost of ACL reconstruction, as well as influencing the cost of the procedure. Allografts (donor tissue) are particularly expensive, potentially adding up to £6,000 to the surgery cost. This is due to the processing and preservation needed to prepare the donor tissue for surgery.
  • Surgical Techniques and Equipment: The use of advanced surgical instruments and techniques, such as adjustable drilling for precise tunnel placement or the choice between metal and biological screws for graft fixation, also impacts costs. Biological screws, which are often preferred for their biocompatibility and lower risk of irritation, may be more expensive than traditional metal screws. 
  • Total Costs: Including the high cost of allografts, total expenses for ACL reconstruction can range from £8,000 to £15,000. This includes the surgery, hospitalisation, and initial rehabilitation phases.

ACL Repair: 

  • Variability in Costs: The cost of ACL repair can vary based on the surgical technique used and the materials involved. Newer methods, such as those using innovative suture techniques and high-generation fixation devices, might lean towards the higher end of this spectrum. 
  • Regenerative Medicine Additions: Incorporating regenerative medicine techniques, such as the application of growth factors or platelet-rich plasma (PRP), to enhance the healing process can further increase the costs of ACL repair. 
  • Overall Costs: ACL repair is generally less expensive than reconstruction, with total costs ranging from £7,000 to £10,000. This includes the surgical procedure and any necessary aftercare.

Factors Influencing the Decision Between Repair and Reconstruction: 

  1. Type and Severity of Injury: The decision often depends on the nature of the ACL injury. More complex or severe injuries may require the robustness of reconstruction, especially in young athletes or those engaged in high-demand sports. 
  2. Patient’s Activity Level and Expectations: Active patients or those with high-performance requirements might prefer reconstruction for its durability and reliability. 
  3. Surgeon’s Expertise and Preference: Surgeons may have different levels of comfort and experience with either procedure, influencing the recommendation and outcome.


Private medical care that’s worth the cost

In conclusion, the costs associated with ACL repair and reconstruction can vary widely based on several factors including the type of graft, surgical techniques, and the materials used. When you sign on with London Cartilage Clinic as a patient, you will be able to discuss these options thoroughly with your surgeon. We believe this transparency is important so patients can make informed decisions based not only on clinical outcomes but also on financial considerations. Contact us today to start your journey towards a full recovery.


Frequently Asked Questions

Reconstruction often involves more complex surgical techniques and expensive materials such as allografts, which significantly increase the overall cost. 

Beyond the surgery itself, consider costs for pre-surgical consultations, post-operative rehabilitation, potential follow-up surgeries, and any additional regenerative treatments.

Yes, the choice of hospital can impact the cost significantly. Hospitals with higher reputations for sports medicine or orthopaedic surgery may charge more due to their specialised care and advanced technologies. 

Biological screws tend to be more expensive but offer advantages such as better tissue compatibility and less interference in MRI scans post-surgery. Metal screws are cheaper but can sometimes lead to complications like metal sensitivity or imaging artefacts.

To potentially reduce costs, patients can explore options such as choosing a less expensive hospital or opting for lower-cost materials where appropriate. Additionally, some health insurance providers may cover a portion of the costs, so it’s advisable to consult with your insurer. 

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