How Much Does Achilles Tendon Surgery Cost?
According to AchillesTendon.com, your Achilles tendon is a tissue that connects your heel to the muscles located on your lower leg. Since your leg muscles are some of the most power muscles in your system, the Achilles tendon is the thickest and the strongest tendon in the body.
Whether you’ve overused it or you have potentially worn bad shoes throughout your life, you may find you may require some sort of rehab or worst case — surgery. A torn Achilles can make it very difficult to walk, place weight on your injured limb or even perform day-to-day activities. With surgery, you will see increased mobility and reduced pain if the surgery is successful.
How much is it?
- The surgery is going to vary anywhere from $10,000 to as much as $31,000 without insurance. This average usually covers most of your additional expenses such as your hospital stay and surgeon fees. The cost will depend on the severity of the rupture/tear, the surgical approach being used, the type of anesthetic being used, the surgeon performing the surgery, hospital and geographical location. A physician will take x-rays and decide if you had a partial tear or complete tear.
- With health insurance, you’re going to want to refer to your deductible and your co-pays. If this surgery is deemed necessary, your insurance should more than likely cover it. You will only be responsible for your co-pays and deductibles.
- The US National Library of Medicine found a day surgery at a local hospital was $600 and overnight stays could cost $909 to $1,433.
What is going to be included?
- Two types of surgeries can be performed: an open or percutaneous surgery (PARS). During an open surgery, the patient will be placed under a general anesthesia, and an incision will be made down the back of the patient’s heel. Once this incision is made, the ends of the ruptured tendon will be reconnected, held together with stitches. After the tendon has been sewn back up, a cast will be put in place. This cast will have to be in place for up to 30 days. Once the 30 days are up, the cast and stitches can be removed. During a percutaneous surgery, the surgeon will create several smaller incisions rather than a big one.
- The patient can be placed under a general, regional or local anesthesia. This will all depend on the severity of the surgery and the surgeon’s discretion.
- After the surgery is performed, the patient will have to wear a walking boot six to 12 weeks. You may also be restricted to crutches or a knee scooter. The average Achilles surgery recovery period is about 12 weeks.
What are the extra costs?
- The hospital stay will not be included in the surgery price. The average hospital stay can be anywhere from $1,000+ per night alone.
- Since this surgery is going to require anesthesia, this will be a separate bill and can cost anywhere from $800 to $2,000.
- If this surgery is going to be as a result of an impromptu injury, emergency room (ER) fees may apply. An emergency room visit alone can start at $500.
- Rehab and physical therapy will more than likely going be needed for at least 8 to 16 weeks prior to your surgery. Rehab fees can range anywhere from $100 to $200 per visit without insurance. Physical therapy, depending on your condition, may take up to 12 months to see significant results.
- A follow-up visit is very important to ensure that the healing is on path. While complications are rare, the tendon can rupture again if not taken care of properly. Follow-up doctor visits will apply.
Tips to know
- Common symptoms of a ruptured Achilles tendon may include a snap sound when pushing off your leg, trouble moving your foot, unable to stand on your toes or pain on the back of your leg.
- Risks may include skin infections, complications with anesthesia, potential nerve damage, repeat risk and potential loss in strength.
How can I save money?
- Be advised you may not need surgery. Instead, you may just need a simple rehab stint in order to increase your strength. Talk with your doctor to explore non-surgical options. This can include casting the foot and recasting it each week. This has a 10 to 30 percent rupture rate.
- Check with foreign countries if you need the surgery and don’t have health insurance. Many countries, such as India, can do it for 60% less. Do this at your own risk, and be sure to do extensive research before doing so. Consider looking into medical tourism pricing guides to see what each and every country can do.