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Cost of knee arthroscopy with cartilage removal in Arkansas

The average cash price for knee arthroscopy with cartilage removal care in Arkansas is $3,160 at a surgery center versus $4,840 at an outpatient hospital. While a surgery center may offer fewer complimentary services, and may not have the full range of support services that outpatient hospital provides, it may still be worth the (35%) you'd save when comparing the cost of knee arthroscopy with cartilage removal performed at an outpatient hospital. Read More

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Average cash price in Arkansas

A common knee arthroscopy with cartilage removal at surgery center facility in Arkansas includes

  Units Avg Cash price

Provider

Orthopedic surgeon visit provider fee

First time visit Standard
1 $122

Provider fee to remove knee cartilage using endoscope

Standard Standard
1 $665

Facility

Surgery center fee to remove knee cartilage using endoscope

Standard Standard
1 $1,489

Imaging

Radiology fee for MRI of hip, knee, or ankle joint

Standard Standard
1 $296

Radiology fee for knee x-ray

1-2 views Standard
1 $44

Equipment

Non-wood underarm crutches

Pair Standard
1 $60

Anesthesia

Anesthesiologist fee to be "put under" for procedure

Level 2 Standard
1 $124

Anesthesiologist time to be "put under" for procedure

Per minute Standard
194 $359
Total average cash price   $3,159.88

A common knee arthroscopy with cartilage removal at outpatient hospital facility in Arkansas includes

  Units Avg Cash price

Provider

Orthopedic surgeon visit provider fee

First time visit Standard
1 $122

Provider fee to remove knee cartilage using endoscope

Standard Standard
1 $665

Facility

Outpatient Hospital fee to remove knee cartilage using endoscope

level 3 Standard
1 $3,169

Imaging

Radiology fee for MRI of hip, knee, or ankle joint

Standard Standard
1 $296

Radiology fee for knee x-ray

1-2 views Standard
1 $44

Equipment

Non-wood underarm crutches

Pair Standard
1 $60

Anesthesia

Anesthesiologist fee to be "put under" for procedure

Level 2 Standard
1 $124

Anesthesiologist time to be "put under" for procedure

Per minute Standard
194 $359
Total average cash price   $4,839.65

Arthroscopy is the process of making a small incision in the skin that allows a surgeon to insert a camera into the knee joint. This camera allows the surgeon to search for any damaged structures within the knee and perform minor surgeries.

Knee arthroscopy is typically done after an injury or in patients with severe chronic pain in the knee. In the case of damage to the cartilage of the knee, a diagnosis is typically made with a magnetic resonance image (MRI), and arthroscopy is used to provide treatment.

Knee arthroscopy is typically done to treat injuries to the ligaments that hold the knee together and the cartilage that allows the joint to move smoothly. This procedure is generally only done when an orthopedic surgeon expects to find an injury that can be treated during the arthroscopy. 

If you have severe pain or reduced range of motion of the knee that makes walking and standing difficult, an arthroscopy is almost certainly a worthwhile procedure. However, if your pain is mild and has been well managed with medications and physical therapy, an arthroscopy is likely unnecessary. 

Some of the most common reasons a surgeon will perform an arthroscopy are:

  • A sensation of the knee “locking” or “catching” and being unable to move past a certain point.
  • Severe damage to the cartilage after an injury that is seen on MRI.
  • Severe pain after an injury that does not improve with a brace and resting the knee.

Arthroscopy allows your surgeon to see the structures within the knee joint and insert small surgical instruments to alter damaged areas of cartilage. One of the most common uses for arthroscopy is to treat tears in the cartilage caused by trauma to the knee. 

Trauma to the knee can tear the meniscus, a long piece of cartilage that is necessary for the knee to move smoothly. Arthroscopy can allow these damaged pieces of cartilage to be reattached to the bones of the knee or removed. 

Some surgeons will use knee arthroscopy to place transplanted cartilage in the knee or attempt therapies that can lead to cartilage regrowth.

Removal of cartilage from the knee is common during arthroscopy. In the past, it was thought that removing cartilage fragments from the knee in patients with chronic arthritis was necessary. New research shows that cartilage removal is most beneficial in patients with traumatic injuries leading to cartilage damage, not those with chronic pain.

Chronic conditions that lead to pain, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout, are best treated with medications and physical therapy instead of cartilage removal.

Regrowth of damaged cartilage is a new area of research. It is possible to implant healthy cartilage cells into the bone beneath the damaged area of cartilage. In some cases, these cells are able to attach to the underlying bone and form new cartilage. 

Another new technique is “microfracturing,” in which small breaks are made on the surface of the bone, which promotes blood flow to that area. This increased blood flow can stimulate the growth of cartilage. 

These methods are still new and are being studied; they are not ideal for all patients, and their use has many limitations. The actual ability to regrow cartilage varies widely between patients and depends heavily on the nature of your injury and any other medical conditions you may have.

After a knee arthroscopy and cartilage removal or repair, you will be able to walk with some discomfort for one to two weeks with a full return to your previous level of activity within a month. Patients who receive arthroscopy to treat a traumatic injury to the knee will often see significant recovery close to their pre-injury state in one to two months.

If arthroscopy is performed only to look at the cartilage and no treatments are done, it may be possible to walk a few hours after the procedure with no assistance. More commonly, arthroscopy is used to perform repair or removal of cartilage. In this case, your surgeon will likely want you to use crutches for about a week after surgery to keep pressure off of the knee. After this period, it will be possible to walk without assistance.

About the knee arthroscopy with cartilage removal Average Cash Prices

This procedure is most commonly performed at either a surgery center or an outpatient hospital.

Surgery centers, also known as ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), are independent, licensed medical facilities that are governed by distinct regulatory requirements compared with a hospital. Procedures performed at an ASCs are often less expensive than when they are performed at an outpatient hospital, but they typically offer fewer complimentary services, and may not have the full-range of support services that a hospital provides.

Outpatient facilities are outpatient departments or clinics that may be within or next to a hospital, but is owned and run by the affiliated hospital. These facilities can perform surgical treatments and procedures that do not require an overnight stay. Procedures performed at an outpatient hospital are often more expensive than when they are performed in an ambulatory surgery center, but outpatient hospitals may offer more complimentary and support services for patients because they are connected to the hospital system.

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* Savings estimate based on a study of more than 1 billion claims comparing self-pay (or cash pay) prices of a frequency-weighted market basket of procedures to insurer-negotiated rates for the same. Claims were collected between July 2017 and July 2019. R.Lawrence Van Horn, Arthur Laffer, Robert L.Metcalf. 2019. The Transformative Potential for Price Transparency in Healthcare: Benefits for Consumers and Providers. Health Management Policy and Innovation, Volume 4, Issue 3.

Sidecar Health offers and administers a variety of plans including ACA compliant and excepted benefit plans. Coverage and plan options may vary or may not be available in all states.

Your actual costs may be higher or lower than these cost estimates. Check with your provider and health plan details to confirm the costs that you may be charged for a service or procedure.You are responsible for costs that are not covered and for getting any pre-authorizations or referrals required by your health plan. Neither payments nor benefits are guaranteed. Provider data, including price data, provided in part by Turquoise Health.

The site is not a substitute for medical or healthcare advice and does not serve as a recommendation for a particular provider or type of medical or healthcare.