How Much Does Tendon Repair Surgery Cost?

Written by: Staff
Last Updated:  August 8, 2018

Tendon repair surgery is a procedure that refers to surgically repairing a tendon, commonly in the bicep, Achilles tendon, ankle or finger.  This procedure will restore the normal function of joints or the surrounding tissues following a tendon laceration and will be recommended when someone injures their tendons or inflammation is present.

Tendons are the cord-like structures that are made of strong fibrous connective tissue that connects the muscles to the bones, and the surgery depends on how bad the damage is and whether it is completely severed, partially torn, or simply stretched.  The hospital inclusions, the surgeon performing the procedure, your insurance policy and geographical location will affect the costs as well.

My Life For 6 Weeks by audreyjm529, on Flickr
My Life For 6 Weeks” (CC BY 2.0) by audreyjm529

How much does tendon repair surgery cost?

The price for this type of surgery can range anywhere from $5,900 to $29,000 without insurance. 

Depending on the facility, the quote noted above may or may not include the hospital accommodations, the anesthesia, operating room fee and/or surgeon charges.  All facilities will vary with its pricing, so it’s very important to know what you’re responsible for before paying.  Don’t be surprised if you receive separate bills from other companies.

For those who have a health insurance policy, one may want to consult with their insurance company to see what will be covered and what costs you will be responsible for.  More than likely, a procedure such as this one will be covered and the patient will only be responsible for a co-pay and/or deductible depending on the plan.

A forum member on said he had paid $24,000 when everything was said and done, and this included the doctor, two-night hospital stay and anesthesia.  Another member on this same forum thread claimed he had paid close to $6,000 after insurance kicked in.

Tendon repair surgery overview

The procedure will depend on the area being treated but most will be similar.  For example, if the Achilles tendon were to be treated, it could be done either via an open surgery, where the doctor would create a large incision in the back of the leg or via a percutaneous surgery. which involves creating smaller incisions, rather than one large one to access the tendon to stitch it back together.  Regardless of which body part is focused on, the doctor may be able to simply reinforce other tendons or he or she may have to use a reinforcement mesh, such as Artelon.

This procedure is often performed in the surgery facility of a local hospital by either an orthopedic, hand or general surgeon and is commonly done under a local, general, regional or spinal anesthesia.

Depending on the severity of the issue, most surgeries will take up to two hours to perform.  Unless complications occur, the patient will be able to leave the facility that day. has a video on how the surgery will work and what can be expected.

What are the extra costs?

Tests before the surgery is even be performed may be needed such as an x-ray of the injured tendon, an MRI, bloodwork and a routine urine exam.  All of these tests will be an additional cost on top of the estimates mentioned above.

The fee for the surgeon and anesthesia may be considered additional fee, ranging anywhere from $1,000 to $8,000.

Physical therapy may be necessary after surgery, depending on the severity of the issue.  This cost will depend on the length of time therapy is required.  The average physical therapy session, without health insurance, can cost up to $200.

After the procedure, a walking boot or cast will be required if the foot/leg was accessed during the surgery.

Tips to know

Common risks and complications may include excessive bleeding, stiffness, surgical wound infection, injury to the bones surrounding the joints, reactions to the anesthesia or a repeat rupture to the tendon.

With proper rest, patients should see a full recovery in two to six months, depending on the severity of the surgery.

How can I save money?

One of the best ways to save money is by getting your insurance company involved.  Insurance can reduce the total cost of the surgery which can allow you to focus on other things that you need.

Check with different hospitals and inquire regarding the rates of the surgery.  If not in an emergency situation, this process can help you save money by identifying which hospital or clinic offers the procedure at the best cost.

If you are able to tell them that you are going to pay out of pocket, many hospitals are more than willing to offer a cash discount to those who can pay up front.

This surgery should be a last resort.  Talk to your doctor or even get a second opinion to see if other alternatives are available.  For example, DoveMed says physiotherapy can help heal the injury in some cases.

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