Arthroscopic knee surgery is a huge advance in orthopedic medicine. It allows doctors to do far more complex procedures with far fewer complications and less overall recovery time. For those without medical insurance, the necessity of arthroscopic knee surgery can be intimidating. Knowing the average cost for a basic procedure can help patients make informed decisions about their health care.
Arthroscopic knee surgery is a great alternative to open surgery. Most procedures can now be performed arthroscopically, saving the patient some time in recovery, as well as preventing scarring and other problems associated with larger incisions. Arthroscopic surgery involves making three small incisions in the knee joint, through which instruments are inserted in along with a camera. The surgeon uses the tools and the camera to do the work he would normally perform with a much larger incision.
When considering whether or not you should receive arthroscopic knee surgery, be sure and talk at length to your doctor, and explain you will be paying for this out of pocket. Many times, when physicians know a patient has no insurance, but is willing to do what it takes to get the procedure paid for, the doctor will work directly with the patient as far as payment, and sometimes will even charge less for the overall procedure because there will be no insurance hoops to jump through.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the cost of an arthroscopic procedure can be up to $7000—with the average right around $4500. This will vary from location to location, and also on what type of procedure is performed during the arthroscope. This is the overall estimate of the total surgery including anesthesia, hospital services and doctor's fees. Again, this is meant to be an average, not an exact match. Be sure and check with your doctor to get a more accurate estimate.
Weighing the options of either having surgery or not because of affordability is a serious decision to make. If you have a serious problem with your knee that needs to be addressed, delaying surgery could mean a more serious injury which would cost even more money, or—worse yet—could cause you to have an accident which could land you in the hospital. Be sure and discuss the benefits and the drawbacks of having the surgery now with your doctor.
Paying it out
Most hospitals and doctors have a Care Credit option available for people who do not have insurance and who are looking to pay for their procedures out of pocket. If your credit does not allow that as an option, again discuss it with your doctor. Most doctors will do everything they can to work with their patients to get them quality care.