How Much Does Ankle Surgery Cost?
Ankle surgery can come in many different forms depending on the injury that the patient has incurred. Those who have suffered an ankle injury will be told by the doctor which type of surgery would be best for them. Debridement, ankle fusion, and ankle replacement are three of the very common types of surgeries that are suggested to people who have serious issues with their ankles. Whether these ankle injuries are a result of accidents or merely because of old age, the appropriate ankle surgery will address the problem and will help the patient avoid further complications and injuries.
How much does it cost?
- Like any other medical procedure, the cost of ankle surgery varies because of some factors. The main factor is the complexity of the ankle injury. Other factors include the type of surgery you will have, the doctor who performs it, and the location of the hospital. Even with these factors, the average cost of the procedure is around $15,500 to $30,000 without any sort of health insurance. The said cost is inclusive to US alone; other countries will have a different price range which it usually less expensive than the prices in the US.
- As long as the procedure is deemed medically necessary, most health insurance providers will be more than willing to cover the procedure. If the surgery is covered, you will only be responsible for co-pays and the deductible.
- An ankle fusion, in particular, can cost as high as $30,000 in the US according to MedicalTourismco.com. However, one can get the same surgery at $4,000 to 8,000 when done in countries with US affiliates such as India, Mexico, and Costa Rica. Remember, if getting a surgery outside of the United States, it is very important that you do research regarding the reputation of the doctor and hospital.
- If you have insurance, the cost to you will be significantly cheaper. It is common for the insurance company to cover at least 30% of the total health surgery bill, some even more than that.
- To get a rough estimate for the costs of an ankle surgery, you can also make use of some online calculator tools employed by some reputable hospitals all over the country. Just visit their official site and use the tools included in their sites’ service.
What is going to be included?
- With an ankle fusion, the surgeon will place pins or plates inside the ankle joint to hold it together. By doing so, you are allowing your ankle to create one bone as it heals. In the event that the joint fails to fuse, the hardware may break. This surgery can be performed in an Open (incision) or Arthroscopic method.
- For an Arthroplasty or an ankle replacement, the surgeon places an artificial joint to the ankle in replacement to the removed damaged joint. See: “How much does an ankle replacement cost?“
- A different procedure is also used with a debridement. This type of surgery makes use of incisions through a small instrument called an arthroscope. The procedure also makes use of a camera in order to view the insides of the ankle.
What are the extra costs?
- Doctor’s Fee. The costs listed above are for the procedure alone and is not inclusive of the fee for the specialists who will perform the surgery. The typical cost for doctor’s fee could reach $2,000 or more. The hospital will usually send you only one bill, but it will be itemized according to the charge.
- Removal of metal hardware attached. For those who have found irritation or complication in the artificial joint or hardware attached to their ankles and want to have it removed, they will need to pay for the removal procedure. This usually costs $2,500 or more, depending on the situation.
- Emergency room. Going to the ER will add more to your expenses than visiting a doctor and being referred to an orthopedic surgeon. If the ER is your only option, expect to spend about a thousand dollar or more since you need to pay for the emergency room visit fee and doctor’s fee.
Tips to know:
- Surgery.com suggests that you need to consult your surgeon first for a detailed consultation in order to get a true estimate for the ankle surgery you need. The doctor will perform a series of tests and x-rays in order to determine the exact treatment or surgery for you.
- The type of ankle surgery upon which the surgeon decides will depend largely on the age and activity level of the patient. Also, the cause and the severity of the condition are put into consideration.
- Ankle surgery should be considered as a last resort. There are many other options for recovery of an ankle injury. Make sure you ask your doctor if there is anyway to avoid the surgery and try something else.
How can I save money?
- You can save money by securing discounts from orthopedic specialists who offer one. These discounts are usually given for cash-paying patients or for those who pay on the day of or before the surgery.
- You can also opt for free clinics that offer orthopedic specialty care. If you are not able to find a clinic near you that offers orthopedic care, ask for a referral.
- Make sure that your insurance will cover at least some percentage of the total costs. If you do not have any insurance or you are looking to upgrade, services such as eHealthInsurance.com help you compare plans across your state.