ACL Reconstruction Surgery in South Korea

Anterior Cruciate Ligament is one of the four ligaments that stabilize the knee joint or hold the joint from getting misplaced. The four ligaments are anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments as well as medial and lateral collateral ligaments. These are capable of stabilizing and allowing the joint to perform the necessary functions of the body. The cruciate ligaments primarily support the conjunction of the thigh bone and the shin bone, mostly in case of sudden jerks and jumps that concentrates the impact on the knee. These ligaments absorb the impact and prevent the knee from getting damaged. However, if the impact exceeds the limit of sustenance, the ligaments may tear and need reconstruction surgeries. An ACL reconstruction is most common among athletes who play basketball, football, soccer, badminton, long jump, high jump and other sports that involve higher physical involvement of the lower limbs. 

What is Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Reconstruction?

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Reconstruction involves correction of the torn anterior ligament which is essential for supporting the knee joint. The procedure involves replacing the damaged tissue surgically in order to restore the normal functioning of the knee. The procedure can either be performed by open surgical method or arthroscopic method, depending on the type and extent of damage incurred. The reconstruction can be achieved via two ways:

  • Complete removal of the torn ligament
  • Preservation of the damaged ligament, wherein, the tissue is inserted into the pressed ligament. 

Ideal Candidate for Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Reconstruction

Although ACL reconstruction is pretty common, yet it is not performed on anyone with a knee injury. The ideal candidates for ACL Reconstruction surgery is decided, if the individual:

  • Is a sportsperson or is actively partaking in physical activities
  • Suffers from persistent pain which interferes with the daily activities and results in loss of mobility
  • Children or young adults whose growth plates have locked 
  • Physiotherapy and other conventional treatments are unresponsive

Factors Affecting the Cost of Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Reconstruction

In general, acl surgery cost varies from a minimum of $1000 and may exceed $16000. One of the prime factors that determine the cost is the country where the procedure is being availed. Apart from that, the key factors affecting the acl reconstruction surgery cost are:

  • Extent of injury incurred
  • Approach of reconstruction surgery implemented
  • Medical benefits necessary
  • Proficiency and experience of the surgeons involved
  • Follow up treatments required

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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. 

Pros

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

 Cons

  • 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 is the health care infrastructure of South Korea / Why should opt for South Korea as a destination for your medical treatment?
South Korea is recognized for its strict rules and regulations which have kept the country in strict discipline. As an upside, the country has well-maintained regulations for every process and impressive medical healthcare facilities which have garnered thousands of visitors from across the world. The reason for opting for hospitals in South Korea is the astounding treatment options available at a very cost-effective price range, which is undoubtedly more affordable than most of the developed countries across the world. Besides the well-planned infrastructure, the treatment in South Korea and the alternatives offered are tempting enough. Apart from that, the country also flaunts high success rates and has thus been able to cure some of the most complex diseases in the world.
What are the conditions of the hospitals in South Korea? Are they JCI certified? What is the quality of the support staff in the hospitals?
The Joint Commission International (JCI) is a global leader in health care accreditation. JCI accreditation is considered a gold standard in worldwide health care. It provides the most skilled and experienced healthcare professionals in the medical industry, as evaluators of the rigorous international standards in healthcare quality and patient safety. YUHS Severance Hospital + Gangnam Severance Hospital is a JCI certified hospital in South Korea.
Are the doctors/surgeons in South Korea of the best quality?
The doctors and surgeons providing treatments in South Korea are globally recognized for their service in the medical field. Furnished with degrees from reputed universities and decades of training and experience, the doctors have earned high success rates throughout their professional careers. The doctors have to undergo rigorous training to keep up with the strict protocol and measures of hospitals in South Korea. Hence, quality is maintained.
What is the process for obtaining a medical visa in South Korea?
The Korean embassy follows a strict protocol for obtaining a visa for traveling to the country. The necessary documents (photocopies and original) have been listed on their official website and should be strictly adhered to. The candidate also has to produce necessary papers stating the medical cause and referral certificate signed by the registered medical practitioner. Although these need to be taken care of by the candidate, the rest of the procedures and further visa assistance is managed by the sponsors in most cases. A Medical Dependent Visa is granted to those who are accompanying a patient traveling to Sount Korea for medical treatment on a Medical Visa. This visa can be given to a close relative/family member or a friend of the patient. Please note that relevant letters/documents explaining details of the treatment, signed and stamped by the concerned hospitals/doctors, a declaration from the patient or an immediate family member is also required confirming the escort travel along with the patient.
What support services does MediGence provide in South Korea?
MediGence enables you to plan and manage your medical decisions better. These are some of our services offered:
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Which are the best cities in South Korea for medical treatment?
Treatment in South Korea is affordable. Seoul is the capital of South Korea and one of the main cities for healthcare. Seoul and Daegu have some of the best hospitals in South Korea. Busan, Incheon, and Ulsan also have developing healthcare facilities.

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