Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction (ACL) Surgery in South Africa

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Reconstruction Surgery in South Africa

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.

Cost Comparison

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


$ 9300


$ 9700


$ 8900


$ 11000

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.

Treatment and Cost


Total Days
In Country

2 No. Travelers

2 Day in Hospital

3 Days Outside Hospital

Treatment cost starts from

USD 9300


About the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Reconstruction

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.


Damage to the ACL Surgery 

The ACL can be injured in different ways, thus warranting a need for ACL repair. The following scenarios may damage the ACL:

  • Collision with a football
  • Slowing down while running
  • Landing incorrectly after a jump
  • Twisting of the knee and the foot in opposite direction


Initial Treatment for Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear

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.

How is Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Reconstruction performed?

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.

  • The torn ligament is removed with the shaver.
  • If the patient’s tissue is used, the surgeon would make a larger cut and remove the tissue.
  • The knee bone is drilled and the tendon is now implanted into the position where the old ACL was present.
  • Screws and other instruments are used to attach the new tendon to the bone.
  • The bone tunnels would gradually fill in as the bone grows, which holds the ligament in place.
  • Small incisions made in the area of the surgery are closed with sutures and sterile dressing.

Recovery from Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Reconstruction

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.

  • It may take a minimum of 6 months for any individual to recover after the surgery, depending on the individual’s rate of recovery.
  • If pain and swelling are observed, an ice pack can be applied over the area. But there should be no direct contact between the ice with the skin as it can cause damage to the skin.
  • You should follow the physician’s recommendations to recover soon and without any complications.
  • People who have a desk job can return to their duties in a week’s time and people involved in active exercises or who are athletes should avoid returning to their work for a minimum of six months.
  • Playing sports such as basketball after the surgery might not be possible and physician’s advice is recommended. 


  • Fast recovery
  • Pain relief
  • Normal working of the knee
  • Returns stability of the knee


  • Blood clot in the legs
  • Weakening of the knee
  • Failure of relief from pain
  • Stiffness in the knee
  • Limited movement of the knee
  • Tear in the newly transplanted tendon

Patient Stories

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the causes of Knee Ruptures?

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.

What is the average cost of ACL Reconstruction Surgery in South Africa?

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.

What are the types of Surgeries available in South Africa for ACL Reconstruction Surgery?

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.

  • Allograft

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.

What is the recovery process post Surgery in ACL Reconstruction Surgery in South Africa?

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.

Which are the top hospitals for ACL Reconstruction Surgery in South Africa?

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:

  1. Life Healthcare Hospital Group, Johannesburg, South Africa

  2. Netcare Group, Johannesburg, South Africa

  3. Nelson Mandela Academic Hospitals, Mthatha, South Africa

  4. Life Kingsbury, Cape Town, South Africa

  5. Lenmed La Verna Private Hospital, Ladysmith, South Africa

  6. Ahmed Kathrada Private Hospital, Johannesburg, South Africa

  7. UCT Private Academic Hospitals, Cape Town, South Africa

  8. Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre, Durban, South Africa

  9. Daxina Private Hospital, Lenasia, South Africa

Who are the top Doctors and Surgeons for ACL Reconstruction Surgery in 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:

  • Robert Barrow

  • Mark Ferguson

  • Prakash Kana

  • Bradley Rabin

  • AL Jacques Du Toit

  • Chris McCready

  • Dr. Richard PB von Bormann

What is the health care infrastructure of South Africa / Why should opt for South Africa as a destination for your medical treatment?
Like most countries, hospitals in South Africa are based upon public and private healthcare systems. There are three main levels of healthcare based upon the payment method of the patient.
  • The full paying patients are those who usually prefer to be treated by a doctor working in the private sector. They can also be funded by an external source. Many non-South African citizens also prefer this treatment service.
  • Fully subsidized patients are those who have been referred from a Primary Healthcare Service Hospital.
  • Partially subsidized patients are patients whose costs are subsidized based on the amount of their income.
The public healthcare system has three main centers for health under its wing:
  • Clinics - These are run by trained professionals and nurses. They can serve as the first point of contact for a patient.
  • Community Healthcare Centre - This is a bigger setup, complete with full-fledged services and doctors and nurses.
  • Hospital - A patient usually gets here after a referral from a clinic or community health center. One can also go in for emergencies. A hospital provides various services like performing surgery and treating chronic illnesses.
Hospitals in South Africa are gearing up to tackle major illnesses and to provide better treatment options. The South African government is also working to introduce policies and towards accommodating more patients from all across the world. It is a great country to find affordable treatment options.
What are the conditions of the hospitals in South Africa? Are they JCI certified? What is the quality of the support staff in the hospitals
The Joint Commission International (JCI) accredits and certifies most health care organizations and programs all around the world. Joint Commission International Accreditation and Certification is recognized as the global leader for health care quality of care and patient safety.
Are the doctors/surgeons in South Africa of the best quality?
Doctors associated with Medigence are of the best quality. We hope to give our patients a pleasant experience and the best doctors we can find. Since South Africa has a lot of requirements in the field of healthcare, the country attracts doctors from all over the world to contribute their services. This can help to ensure that even you receive the best quality of doctors.
What is the process for obtaining a medical visa in South Africa?
One can apply for a visa to South Africa for a period of 90 days. The High Commission of India can then help one decide for how long a visa can be extended. This usually differs from person to person. The Medical Visa allows a person to stay for a maximum of six months with a valid visa. After this, one can go to the FRO office ( Foreigner’s Registration Office ) or FRRO (Foreigner's Regional Registration Office) and request for an extension. Do note that the validity of a visa begins on the day it is issued by the High Commission of India and not on the date of departure. Applications for visas will not be accepted more than 30 days prior to departure.
What support services does MediGence provide in the United Arab Emirates?
MediGence enables you to plan and manage your medical decisions better. These are some of our services offered:
  • Expert Opinion
    We help you seek an Expert Opinion on your diagnosis and treatment from an experienced team of doctors at MediGence and specialists from a reputable hospital.
  • Hospital Recommendation
    We recommend a hospital or a healthcare institution that is best suited for you, based on your ailment and its criticality.
  • 360-degree Hospital Review
    We give you a transparent and holistic view of the hospital and its infrastructure, accreditation, facilities, and expertise to give you confidence.
  • Doctor Validation and Communication
    We share a comprehensive profile of the treating doctor and also arrange a call to clear queries regarding treatment if needed.
  • Options to Choose From
    Based on your choice of destination and other preferences, we provide you multiple options with respect to hospitals and doctors to choose from.
  • 24X7 Patient Care Support
    A dedicated patient case manager stays in constant touch with you to help you at every step of the decision-making process and resolve queries that you may have.
  • Transparent Treatment Cost and Other Expenses
    We give a clear and accurate indication of the total cost of treatment including treatment, stay, meals, and other expenses.
  • Visa Assistance
    We provide and help prepare documentation for visa approval and coordinate with the embassy to expedite the visa process.
  • Accommodation Arrangements
    We propose to you a choice of accommodation based on your preference such as long stay, short stay, or luxury properties.
Which are the best cities in South Africa for medical treatment?
While many cities are striving to create some of the best hospitals in South Africa, Durban, Lenasia, and Cape Town already have some very good hospitals for treatment in South Africa. Located in Durban, Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre is a reasonable and affordable hospital in South Africa. Life Kingsbury Hospital in Capetown provides a holistic healing environment for patients. One can also opt for the Ahmed Kathrada Private Hospital in Lenasia. This hospital has been running for nearly 30 years now and various medical facilities can be availed from here.

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