ACL Surgery

ACL SurgeryThis ACL Surgery site provides real, unbiased, useful information about cost, recovery time, rehab, insurance issues, choosing a surgeon, and most everything related to making the decision of having ACL surgery.

It was created by people who actually had ACL surgery (anterior cruciate ligament) and needed more details to help make a more informed decision. Learn from the mistakes and successes of others and enjoy your visit! Now, scroll down to view the 8 key steps BEFORE having ACL surgery…

8 Key Steps Before Having ACL Surgery:

  1. Talk to a doctor
  2. Get an xray and MRI
  3. Rehab/strengthen the knee as much as possible (pre-surgery)
  4. Choose the type of ACL surgery you want (graft and fixation choice)
  5. Choose a doctor
  6. Get billing codes from your doctor for each specific component of the surgery, approx hours in surgery, location (address), and get their estimate of costs assuming you had no insurance.
  7. Have a thorough conversation with your health insurance company (if you have one) to learn how much % your insurance will cover you. Fully document the questions, answers and conversation.
  8. Now that you have cost information, you are able to make an informed decision on whether or not to have the surgery.

Important Note: there’s no risk in waiting if you are careful. The surgery itself won’t be more or less successful if you wait 5 – 10 years. The only risk is if you try to do sports or activity on an unstable knee and injure it worse. Some people, through lots of strengthening of surrounding muscles are able to compensate for the vulnerability and not have the surgery.

If you do have surgery, wait at least 6 months after your incident. The reason is that the knee sometimes takes months for swelling to go down, for full range of motion to return, and to re-strengthen the muscles. You don’t want surgery if you are still healing from the incident. When in doubt, postpone.

If this is the kind of advice you’re looking for, check out the ACL Surgery Cheat Sheet. It has everything you need to know about your ACL surgery options and could save you hours of research.

Did You Know You Have a Billion Dollar Asset?

obesityDid you know that right now you have an asset that is so valuable, it far surpasses any amount you have in your IRA, stocks, mutual funds, business investments, your real estate, cars and all your possessions put together. It is worth far more than a billion dollars and you already own it. What possibly could this be? It’s your body. That’s right, your physical human body is a priceless asset and we can logically prove it.

Have you ever met a multi-millionaire or billionaire? How about one who is disabled? A wealthy person may be blind, may only have 1 leg, or may be paralyzed and dependent on a wheelchair. If you were blind, and if you had the option of paying 1 million dollars to be able to see again, if you had the money, would you do it? How about 10 million, or 100 million, or 1 billion? Most people would gladly trade money for part of their health back at any price, because your body is priceless.

The same goes for legs to walk again, or vocal chords to sing or talk again, or hands to work and help others. You’d better believe that right now if one of these disabled people could, they would be glad to give you millions or billions of dollars to be able to have your physical ability you may have right now. If you can walk, talk, see, hear, smell, taste, touch, and are in good health, then what you have now is so valuable you cannot put a price on it. If you had a cash register ringing up each of the valuable body parts you have, you likely would run out of digits. So, you can logically conclude that you are an extremely expensive and priceless human being.

Most people treat professional athletes, thoroughbred horses, cute dogs, cats, and pets, with extreme care and respect too. You would want them to exercise regularly and keep on a carefully planned and monitored diet for premium performance.

smoking cigarette
Smoking cigarettes are good for you. Oh wait, sorry I got it backwards, I mean, it will kill you. Most people consider the 2,000 people who died in the 9/11 attacks a tragedy, but what about the 4 million people who get killed every year from smoking? We have 2,000 September 11ths every year!

So, why is it that many people take their most valuable asset, their health, and put it at risk by avoiding exercise, not getting enough sleep, feeding it junk food, candy, preservative chemicals, alcohol, poison, and inhaling carbon monoxide? Some people say it’s so inhumane to clip a cat’s toe nails, but the same people can grossly mistreat themselves without even seeming aware of it. Is this done because people really think they’re better off subjecting their bodies to abuse, or is it a lack of self-control, or perhaps is it because advertising, culture, and peer pressure tells them that’s normal?

If you like smoking, please take a moment to consider the pros and cons. Have you logically sat down with a piece of paper and decided that you are overall better off and will be a happier person and have a more enjoyable life if you smoke? Have you ever met a goal-oriented person who has set a goal to someday start smoking so they could enjoy their life more? If it is truly a worthwhile and beneficial activity that non-smokers should have, then why don’t we see people coordinating, planning, hoping, and looking forward to achieving it?

Most people consider the 2,996 people who died in the September 11, 2001 attacks against the U.S. a tragedy. But what about the 419,000 premature deaths in the U.S. caused by smoking every year? (source: American Cancer Society) That is like having 140 September 11ths in the U.S. every year. So, in ten years, that is more than 4 million people who get killed, or nearly 1,400 September 11th attacks. And that is only in the U.S.

In the world, instead of taking 10 years to kill the that many, 4 million people perish every year from smoking (source: World Health Organization [WHO]). That’s 1,335 September 11ths every year, worldwide. And we not only allow the attacks and allow people to get killed, we actually promote the attacks from our countries allowing cigarette companies to advertise. About 1 billion people in the world are smokers, and the smoking consistently kills half of its users. That doesn’t seem very promising if you’re considering starting smoking! But unfortunately, this message hasn’t been received, because smoking is on the rise and WHO predicts up to 8 million deaths (per year) by 2030. Tomorrow another 11,000 will die from smoking. Then another 11,000 after that, and we’ll continue to have 3 1/2 September 11ths disasters every day, from today until the rest of the year, and we’ll watch it increase until more and more people die. What a complete, utter tragedy, that is continuing on and on. Smoking has caused millions more deaths than the holocaust, and far more than any war in the history of the world. But this tragedy isn’t in the news much. People might rather hear about the lost baby in Florida, or a sex scandal in D.C., than the 11,000 that will die tomorrow.

It’s ironic that the teens and young adults who start smoking begin because it feels cool, independent, and rebellious, but that idea was a socially-manufacured idea from the cigarette companies. They basically had a product that was addictive and killed people and were trying to figure out how to get people to use it. So, through advertising, they brainwashed people to accept the toxic product as being cool, and it worked! So, instead of the smokers being liberated and feeling independent, they’re actually mindless puppets of a corporate-invented social experiment, and later become slaves to addiction.

Consider trying to take charge of your health and disregard other people who pressure you into killing your body with cigarettes, drugs, and alcohol. It’s not worth the temporary feeling of friendship or social acceptance. These friends may come and go, you still be stuck with your same body and whatever harm you have caused it until the day you die. Take care of it and you will feel better, happier and healthier. Your body is too precious of an asset to jeopardize.

Horses Running

If you have an accident and hurt yourself, such as your knee that may require ACL surgery, do everything possible for a strong recovery. Treat your body like a multi-million dollar thoroughbred race horse, working and training hard for a successful recovery and maintain a body that will perform well and last a long time for an enjoyable life. You deserve it, even if you don’t feel like you do right now. You will thank yourself later. See you at the finish line!

Choosing the Right Knee Brace for ACL Surgery Patients

ACL injury from football is very common
ACL injuries from football are very common

The patients who opt for surgery are required to wear knee braces after surgery temporarily to provide support to the knee and helps in regaining the lost strength. But some former ACL surgery patients have chosen to continue using a knee brace for athletics, even after they have 100% recovered. According to the survey conducted by aclsurgery.us of 187 ACL surgery patients, 31% (58) said they still wear a brace, though they’ve fully recovered. 33% (62) said they sometimes wear a brace, and 36% (67) said they never use a brace. This means that approximately 2/3 of the people who have had ACL surgery still feel they need for a brace. And with the variety of braces in the market, how does one choose?

Knee Brace Survey
Knee Brace Survey

Different types of knee braces are specially made to suit the needs to ACL surgery patients. However, the best and the most widely recommended one is the braces with hinges and metal supports. The hinged knee brace covers the major portion of the leg i.e. from the portion above the knee to middle of the calf. It is specially designed to provide comfort to the injured ligaments as well as to prevent strain on those parts during the movement.

Some of the companies who specialize in the manufacturing of knee braces for ACL surgery patients are Donjoy, Breg, McDavid, Ossur, ProCare, etc. Out of these, Donjoy is the most popular as well as widely used brand for ACL braces. There are many models available in each of the above-mentioned brands and the price varies from brand to brand and model to model.

We will compare two knee braces: Donjoy Custom Defiance knee brace, and Breg custom LPR ligament knee brace which are specially meant for ACL surgery patients.

Donjoy Custom defiance knee brace:

Pros

  • It offers maximum comfort to the injured ligaments due to its custom fit feature.
  • Over 40 different choices in colors and graphics.
  • Mechanism to control the flexing and extension of the knee.
  • Manufactured by most trusted and widely used brand.
  • Wide range of supporting accessories.

Cons

  • Higher price than competing brands

 

Breg Custom LPR ligament knee brace:

Pros

  • It is designed with light weighted aerospace aluminum in order to stabilize injured ligaments.
  • Provides great protection as well as comfort to the knee.
  • Comes with airframe padding, which allows the moisture and heat to move away from the skin.

Cons

  • Absence of Mechanism to control flexing and extension.

Even though it is listed at $950 it can be availed at a special price of $759 from braceshop.com.

You can also find many affordable braces on following websites:-

  • braceshop.com,
  • betterbraces.com,
  • dme-direct.com, etc

While you can save money ordering online, it comes at a risk, however, as it may not fit as precisely as you want. And the fit is key to protecting your knee and avoiding future injury. So, the best way to buy the right knee brace is to try on different braces in order to determine the comfort and support abilities of each brace. This is best done in a major metropolitan area where you can drive to a variety of brace carriers. It may take a little effort, time and money in travelling around to find the best brace for your knee, but if protecting your knee is a high priority, it may be a wise investment.

ACL Surgery Cost

Cost of ACL SurgeryACL surgery is expensive and plays a large role in the decision of whether or not to have surgery. Insurance companies and coverage varies. It’s wise to get the exact billing codes from your doctor and give these codes to your insurance provider to see if its covered in your plan. Be as specific as possible, for example, besides the codes, note the estimated duration of the surgery, if the doctor will have an assistant and if billed individually, and the anesthesiologist, physical therapy rehab, ice machines (cyrotherapy), leg braces, crutches, pain killers or any other prescriptions, and any other costs. Get it all and be detailed so you don’t have any surprises.

Read more about ACL Surgery Cost

Remove Screws After ACL Surgery?

remove screws acl surgeryHas anyone had their hardware removed (screws, etc) after having ACL surgery?

I’m currently scheduled to have my 2 titanium screws removed from my my incision, just below my knee. It isn’t the bioabsorbable screw, as that is not wise to remove, being deep into the bone. The surface area with the 2 screws is sensitive, but is only minor pain- probably a 2 on a 10 point scale. With my insurance deductible met, I’m tempted to have the screws removed, but I don’t want unnecessary risk.

Read more about Removing Screws

Patellar vs Hamstring

Patella vs Hamstring for ACL sugeryChoosing between patella vs hamstring as a graft for ACL surgery can be a difficult decision. At a glance the options seem fairly balanced, with pros and cons on either side, but our two polls have shown a slight leaning toward hamstring graft. Below is what people commonly say among the choices:

Read more about Patella vs Hamstring