The Anterior Cruciate Ligament is the major stabilizing ligaments in the knee. It is a strong rope like structure found in the center of the knee running from the femur to the tibia. Unfortunately, the injury caused by the ligament splitting does not heal and often leads to the feeling of instability in the knee. Injury to the Anterior Cruciate Ligament is frequently occurred injuries in the present times and often been labeled as the most devastating injuries of all time. For the ACL injuries, surgical reconstruction is considered as the latest standard of treatment.
An ACL reconstruction is the commonly performed surgical practice in which replacement of the injured ACL takes place with a new ligament by using grafts. It is one of the four major ligaments of the knee that connects the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone) and helps stabilize the knee joint. Anterior Cruciate Ligament prevents the excessive movement of the lower leg bone in relation to the thigh bone and also restricts the rotational movement of the knee.
South Africa is equipped with top-notch private hospitals and clinics, which have excelled in providing the medicinal treatment and catered to the diverse needs of foreign patients. Many elective surgeons are members of the General Medical Council and registered under the reputable medical association, that is, ‘The South African Medical Association’. So, a patient can be assured about the quality of treatment he will get in South Africa for the ACL reconstruction surgery.
South Africa is a renowned medical destination, providing effective care to the patients at affordable prices. With the high-end facilities cater to high-end clients and cost-effectiveness, South Africa has emerged as the most preferred medical destination across the globe. The total cost of ACL surgery in South Africa can go up to $ 7000, while in the USA, the cost of the same procedure can cost up to $ 20000. The costs of ACL reconstruction surgery in other renowned countries are given in the table below:
ACL Reconstruction Cost
Hence, you will get the most reasonable cost for ACL reconstruction in South Africa without compromising on the quality of treatment. More importantly, the cost for ACL reconstruction in South Africa also depends on the several factors like types of hospital chosen, stay in the hospital, types of hospital room, surgeon’s expertise and so on.
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction refers to the replacement of the damaged ACL with a tissue to facilitate normal functioning of the knee. ACL is a major stabilizing ligament in the knee, which connects the femur to the tibia. ACL helps provide proper movement of the tibia. ACL also facilitates pivoting or sudden change in the direction of the leg, preventing the damage to the knee.
The ACL can be injured in different ways, thus warranting a need for ACL repair. The following scenarios may damage the ACL:
The ACL may not require surgery when the knee is stable when the ligament is not torn completely, or even when you don’t have to strain your knees by active sports. The alternate treatment in such a situation is “RICE” – Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
Physiotherapy, exercise, and braces for legs can help provide support to the knee. Exercises such as swimming, running in a straight line, and playing golf can be preferred by active individuals if they do not wish to return to an active sports life.
General anaesthesia or local anaesthesia will be given before ACL reconstruction surgery. The tissue to replace the damaged ACL will be taken from the kneecap or hamstring tendons of your body, or from a donor. The surgery is usually performed with the help of knee arthroscopy.
ACL repair involves the use of a camera inserted into the slit made in the knee. A computer connected to the camera facilitates viewing of the inner ligament, by which the physician can perform the surgery. Other incisions are made to incorporate the required equipment and then the ACL reconstruction surgery is performed.
You will be sent home on the same day of the surgery. You will be instructed to use knee braces or crutches after one to four weeks of the surgery. The physician prescribes pain medications if required. Physiotherapy could help retain the integrity of the knee faster.
The knee is the largest joint in the body which plays an important role in carrying the whole body weight while walking and jumping. With the purpose of bending and extending the lower body, the knee joint is exposed to the maximum injuries in the body. The knee ruptures are generally caused by twisting and bending force applied to the knee or a direct blow such as from sports, falls, or accidents.
On average, knee tearing is caused by the external force of twisting or bending the knee in a way that it was not meant to. Some of the high-force knee ruptures are generally sports-related injuries and accident caused by motor vehicles.
South Africa is becoming an attractive destination for medical travelers who are looking for life-saving surgeries and availing of healthcare services at reasonable prices. Talking about the ACL reconstruction surgery, the cost in South Africa is only a mere a fraction that you will get in other medical destinations. The average cost of ACL reconstruction in South Africa is $ 7000 which is pretty inexpensive as compared to any other developed nations.
Injured or torn ACL ligament is not going to heal by sewing the ligament back together. Thus, ACL ligament reconstruction surgery comes in the picture which executes by using a connective tissue graft to rebuild or replace your injured ACL. The following are the types of surgery available in South Africa for ACL reconstruction:
Hamstring Tendon autograft
In this type of surgery, surgeons will use the patient’s semitendinosus hamstring tendon on the inner side of the knee for creating the hamstring tendon autograft. It claims fewer problems associated with harvesting of the graft as compared to Patellar tendon autograft.
Patellar Tendon autograft
In this category, the middle third of the patellar tendon of the patient, along with a bone plug from the shin and the kneecap used in the patellar tendon autograft. It is often advised for athletes and patients whose job does not require a significant amount of kneeling.
Quadriceps tendon autograft
This type of surgery is required for the patients who have already failed ACL reconstruction. In this type of procedure, the middle third of the patient’s quadriceps tendon and a bone plug from the upper end of the knee cap are used. Patients who seek this treatment may find the incision not appealing cosmetically.
In this type of procedure, grafts are taken by the cadavers and generally being referred to the patients who have failed ACL reconstruction. It is quite advantageous as it successfully eliminates the pain caused by obtaining the graft from the patient and reduces the surgery timings.
Recovery from ACL will take time but there are some easy ways you can take to make progress go as quickly as you have expected. After the surgery, the patients will receive specific instructions from your surgeons including the schedule of post-operative medical visits. It is vital that your progress should be monitored and your plan tweaked when needed.
Your physical therapist will suggest the appropriate exercise program based on your age, surgery, current health, and current fitness level. You will be told to do the exercises regularly to restore mobility. Also, you will be asked to take care of your eating habits as eating well after surgery can help your body heal faster. If pain suddenly starts troubling you, you develop fever or feel abnormal, it is important to let your doctor know right away.
The medical standards in South Africa are enormously high and surgeons operate in well-furnished clinics where they have access to cutting edge facilities and opulence of infrastructures. Here is the list of top hospitals for ACL reconstruction surgery in South Africa:
Life Healthcare Hospital Group, Johannesburg, South Africa
Netcare Group, Johannesburg, South Africa
Nelson Mandela Academic Hospitals, Mthatha, South Africa
Life Kingsbury, Cape Town, South Africa
Lenmed La Verna Private Hospital, Ladysmith, South Africa
Ahmed Kathrada Private Hospital, Johannesburg, South Africa
UCT Private Academic Hospitals, Cape Town, South Africa
Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre, Durban, South Africa
Daxina Private Hospital, Lenasia, South Africa
With the flourishing medical growth, South Africa is considered as a world leader in medicine. For the ACL reconstruction procedure, South Africa has a strong brigade of orthopedic surgeons and doctors, and a few of them are as follows:
AL Jacques Du Toit
Dr. Richard PB von Bormann
The popular multispecialty hospital groups in South Africa are:
These hospitals have taken the patient experience to the next level by ensuring the below things:
The government of South Africa has strict healthcare regulations in place which all hospitals need to follow to ensure quality treatment. The hospitals have world-class doctors and top-notch infrastructure and provide a wide range of facilities to meet the needs of patients.
The healthcare system in South Africa is accredited by Joint Commission International (JCI) and Council for Health Service Accreditation of Southern Africa (COHSASA). In order to ensure coordinated and integrated care is provided by healthcare facilities, COHSASA sets and assesses standards for all sectors and departments of a healthcare system. COHSASA, JCI, and SafeCare Foundation have come together to launch the SafeCare program to implement internationally recognized standards to improve health care delivery. Clinics and Hospitals that comply with standards are initially given two-year accreditations and this period is extended if they are consistent in providing quality care.
One of the leading medical tourism destinations, South Africa offers affordable healthcare and has superior infrastructure. South Africa has become the epicenter of medical tourism because of several other reasons like advanced technology, several facilities provided by hospitals, doctors trained abroad, and a large pool of accredited hospitals. South Africa has also liberal laws for the application of stem cells in medical practice, making the country a leading destination for patients who need advanced medical treatment. You get comprehensive treatment at world-class hospitals which assist you with all organization and administrative tasks and also provide you all-inclusive care and assistance on a 24/7 basis.
The doctors in South Africa strive to provide quality treatment utilizing their deep subject knowledge and hands-on experience in handling various complex cases. Many doctors in South Africa receive their training in foreign countries like Australia and Cuba which provide them global exposure and make them more competent in handling cases with high precision and accuracy. Using a holistic approach, doctors have received worldwide recognition for delivering excellent results in dental procedures and fertility treatments. There are several reasons why South Africa has a large pool of quality doctors, such as education at reputed colleges, compliance with global standards, using human touch in treatment, and adopting a patient-centric approach.
You can avail a medical visa to South Africa and stay in the country for 90 days to seek treatment. Further extension of the duration of the stay is decided by the High Commission of the country where the patient belongs from. People need to apply for a temporary residency permit in case they have to stay in the country for more than three months. A visa becomes valid the day it is issued by the High Commission and not on the date of departure. Also, an application for a visa is not be accepted more than 30 days before departure. Here is a list of documents that you will require for applying for a medical visa:
Some popular procedures available in South Africa are hip replacement, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction, total knee replacement, meniscus repairs. South Africa has also gained popularity for delivering excellent results in cosmetic surgery and infertility treatment. Egg donation program is available in South Africa and it is even possible to select your donor, as well as gives you the option of having a surgical or non-surgical procedure, all with very low waiting times. Low-cost treatment, fast recovery, use of advanced medical technology, and highly trained doctors are some of the reasons for the popularity of these procedures.
South Africa has a number of modern urban centers, such as Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Durban. Cape Town is a world-class tourism attraction and is home to a variety of people from different cultures, as well as some of the top-class doctors and state-of-the-art medical facilities in the world Most of these cities have an efficient public transportation system, cheap accommodation options, and connectivity through airlines. Johannesburg’s public and private healthcare industry coordinates with South Africa's medical schools to create internationally recognized medical specialists and the quality of medical care is on par with Great Britain.
Yes, vaccination is compulsory before visiting South Africa. The vaccines recommended by WHO and the National Travel Health Network and Centre are Rabies and tetanus, hepatitis B, typhoid, cholera, Yellow fever, hepatitis A. Infants 6 to 11 months old travelling to the country should get 1 dose of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine before travel. People staying with friends or relatives or visiting smaller cities or rural areas should get typhoid vaccine. Vaccination guidelines change with time, so keep yourself updated with the travel advisory released by the government. You can also check with doctors or hospitals in South Africa for the required vaccines.
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