Chicago Bulls star guard Derrick Rose has begun to play basketball for the first time since undergoing surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee 1 ½ years ago. For Rose, the cost of not having surgery was clear — he is among the highest paid athletes in the world — but what does the average person have to lose?
For the first time, researchers have determined the economic benefit of having reconstructive ACL surgery, offering helpful information for the more than 200,000 people — often amateur athletes but including people of any age — who suffer ACL tears in the U.S. every year. The average lifetime benefit of having surgery is $50,000 per patient, and there is an estimated lifetime savings in the U.S. of $10.1 billion annually, according to a study published Oct. 2 in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.
The figures include direct costs, such as the price of surgery and rehabilitation, and indirect factors, including the ability to work, earnings and disability payments.
“ACL reconstruction is the preferred cost-effective treatment strategy for ACL tears and yields reduced costs compared to rehabilitation alone once indirect cost factors are considered,” said Dr. Bernard Bach, one of the study’s authors and head of the division of sports medicine at Rush University Medical Center.
Read the entire news release.