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.

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