Meniscus is a small cartilage located in your knee, which serves as a cushion between the ends of bones that meet at the knee joint. It is pivotal in maintaining balance and free movement of the legs. A twist of the knee or a slight pressure on it while playing or running, rotating injury, getting hit on the side of the knee may lead to meniscus tear. This is a common scenario faced by any sportsman who is into contact sports. The meniscus loses its elasticity as we grow older. Hence, older adults are more prone to meniscus injury when they perform activities such as squatting, kneeling, etc. The affected person might experience sharp pain along with swelling in the knee. An MRI scan helps detect this knee cartilage injury. This problem can be fixed with the help of arthroscopic surgical procedure.
The surgery to repair the torn knee cartilage can involve the removal, repair, or replacement of the meniscus. Typically, for many patients, just repairing the cartilage works well. In this procedure, small instruments and a small camera are inserted in the concerned area after incisions are made in the knee joint. The torn fragment is cut and removed after the surgeon gets the hang of what is wrong and how much damage has been inflicted. Once the torn part is gotten rid of, the remaining part of the meniscus is smoothened.
Cost of Surgery
A number of factors revolve around how much will you have to pay to get your meniscus operated. Some of the most important aspects are the age and overall health of the patient, the gravity of the injury, and the type of surgery. As per the official records, the surgery cost hovers around USD 8,000, which is the upper limit. The average is around USD 4,500. This is the typical cost for a meniscus surgery. Now, it depends on the surgery, location, and the hospital too. A plush hospital with state-of-the-art facilities may even charge around USD 10,000 or more. According to some studies, the maximum a person will have to pay for surgery can go to up to USD 30,000 as well. The cost will include the following:
- Doctor ordering the MRI
- MRI scan
- The surgeon performing the surgery
- The surgeon's assistant
- Hospital set up
- Physical therapy after surgery
All these factors combined will give you the exact amount to be paid for the surgical procedure. Here is an example of how a location can impact the cost. On an average in Los Angeles, the surgery may cost around USD 15,000, as against USD 9000 (approximately) in Atlanta.
If a patient has medical insurance, it may come in handy. If a person does not have insurance and is going to pay from his own pocket and the cost is more than one can afford, the doctors give special preferences. For such people, there is the option of a care credit. In countries like India, the cost is probably half or less than that of the cost in the United States. Of course, it depends on other factors too, and may vary.
In addition to the expenses in the hospital, do not forget to consider the post operative treatment in the expenses.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.