Frequently Asked Questions
What can I expect at my first clinic appointment?
You will arrive 30 minutes prior to your appointment. The length of the check in process depends on several factors including whether you have been a patient within Centura before. Forms you may be asked to complete may include the New Patient packet, the Extremity Pain sheet, and the Review of Systems form. Our staff may also need to collect your vital signs, height, weight, and possibly order x-rays. We will probably also ask several questions including: How long has this been bothering you? Can you describe the pain? What have you tried for the pain? If your pain is bilateral, which side is worse? Have you been treated for this issue previously?
The clinical support staff and the provider work as a team. You will discuss details of your concerns with the provider, receive a thorough exam, review x-rays with them and discuss your treatment options. Treatment recommendations sometimes include both nonsurgical and surgical options. Advanced imaging (such as an MRI or CT scan), physical therapy, and pharmacy services can be initiated at that time. If needed, surgery scheduling and authorizations will be handled by our office as well.
How do you help me determine if surgery is the right choice?
The decision to move forward with surgery can be complex and typically considers multiple factors. A very important first step is, of course, an accurate diagnosis. We can typically address many orthopedic problems with nonsurgical treatments. When those treatments fail, however, we often consider surgery. You should always consider the risks and benefits of the surgery as well as your desired activity level. This important discussion regarding whether to pursue surgery will take place between you and your surgeon.
If surgery is necessary, what is the process for scheduling my surgery?
Our surgery scheduler will call you to schedule your surgery. If you wish, you may initiate scheduling the surgery by calling 970-764-9423 at your convenience. Our surgery scheduler will offer you days that your surgical team is available in the operating room. The type of surgery (urgent, elective, inpatient, or outpatient) will affect the availability of your surgical team as well. The surgery scheduler will also arrange your preoperative and postoperative appointments.
Our authorization team will request authorization from your insurance company if needed. Our financial clearance team will contact the patient to discuss financial responsibilities. They can be reached at 970-764-2380.
Our operating room nursing staff will call you with questions about your health history prior to your surgery. You will also receive a phone call the day prior to your surgery day to confirm your arrival time. On rare occasion, the time of your surgery may change (due to emergency cases or equipment availability).
Where will my surgery be performed?
Both of our surgery locations are on the Mercy Regional Medical Center campus. You will be directed to go to the main operating room (1010 Three Springs Blvd) or our outpatient surgery center (1 Mercado St Suite 210). If you need to reach either location, contact the hospital to be connected to them.
What are the features of the outpatient surgery center?
The outpatient surgery center is for patients coming in and going home on the same day as their surgery. It provides a high-quality cost-effective option for patients. Our surgeons and medical professionals have decades of experience treating patients and we are committed to providing a seamless surgical experience while focusing on quality and safety. The state-of-the-art outpatient surgery center provides comprehensive orthopedic care for patients needing sports medicine, fracture care, hand, shoulder, knee, foot, and ankle surgery, in addition to other surgical specialties. There are six preoperative bays with personal nursing attention, three operating rooms, four postoperative bays, and a comfortable waiting room with television and a coffee station for families. We work with board certified anesthesiologists. Our safe, modern surgery center features equipment such as high definition camera chip technology for arthroscopic procedures which enables surgeons to see clearly and deliver the best possible care for their patients. There is convenient access to an on-campus retail pharmacy for discharge prescriptions as well as wi-fi access, free parking, full service cafeteria, and gift shop.
What can I expect from my inpatient surgery?
Your postoperative experience will largely depend on the surgery that you had. If you are having a hip or knee replacement you will receive a 3-ring notebook before your surgery that details your experience. In brief, most hip and knee replacement patient spend one night in the hospital after their surgery. Typically, in the hours after your surgery, the therapists will help you get out of bed and walk. Walking early after surgery is very important as it minimizes your risk of developing blood clots or other serious complications. The morning after your surgery, the therapists will work with you again to make sure you are getting around safely and are able to do all the necessary activities to function at home (e.g. walking up and down stairs, getting in and out of bed or on and off toilet).
Patients who go directly home after surgery rather than a rehabilitation or skilled nursing facility often achieve a faster recovery and are at a lower risk of adverse events such as readmission to the hospital, infection, or wound healing problems. It is important for you to have a postoperative plan for your recovery before you have surgery. You should prepare your home so that the transition from the hospital is as easy as possible. Ideas for this include preparing meals in advance, removing clutter or furniture that would be in the way of a walker, and placing useful supplies in areas that are easy to access.
You will be started on a multimodal pain regiment before you are discharged from the hospital and it is very helpful to continue to utilize the medications to minimize your narcotic usage. It is very common to have difficulty sleeping after a joint replacement. It can help to take your pain medication an hour before bed to achieve better comfort while trying to sleep.
Your incision will take about two weeks to heal. You should not need to perform any wound care as the incision will be covered with a waterproof dressing that allows you to shower normally over the dressing.
After a knee replacement, it is critical to work on your range of motion and you will be seeing an outpatient physical therapist two to three times per week initially with the goal of getting your leg completely straight and regaining enough bend in your knee to sit and take the stairs easily. It is very important to work on your range of motion early after your surgery to avoid a stiff knee. It can take several weeks to months to achieve your maximum motion.
After a hip replacement, your best exercise is walking. Physical therapy isn’t usually necessary unless you are having difficulty transitioning from assistive devices (cane, walker, etc.). Many patients are no longer using these devices when they return to see their surgeon two weeks after surgery.
Driving after surgery depends on which side was operated on and whether you are taking prescription pain medication. This will be discussed with your provider at your first post op visit.
If you have a history of smoking or other tobacco use it is critical that you are no longer using any nicotine products before or after your surgery as it can significantly impair your body’s ability to heal your wounds and cause other major, even life threatening, complications.
What Our Patients are Saying
"It’s the service you receive at Mercy that stands out.”
"When I was injured skiing, I asked friends for recommendations and they told me to go to Mercy. I went to Dr. Furry without a second thought, and she was able to repair my torn ACL. Mercy Orthopedic Associates offers convenience, responsiveness and good outcomes. I received white-glove service from reception, to the anesthesiologist, to my follow up care.
The beauty of living in a small community is that you get to know people outside of the four walls of the hospital. When I run into Dr. Furry at the grocery store she shows genuine concern about my overall well-being. It’s pretty special that Mercy has physicians like Dr. Furry who do so many good things for Mercy and the Durango community. After having the surgery, I was able to return to enjoying an active Durango lifestyle. I had a great experience all around. Often quality is an expectation, but it’s the service you receive at Mercy that stands out.”
"I could not be more pleased."
"Recently, I needed to have the other hip replaced. Dr. Mallette did an outstanding job. Just a few short hours after surgery I was standing up on my new hip. The next day Dr. Mallette discharged me from the hospital and I was on my way home. I only took two full weeks off of work, and was able to return on a part time basis the following week.
I cannot say enough for the wonderful outcome that I experienced and I give full credit to the talented and capable hands of Dr. Mallette. I would highly recommend to anyone to come to Mercy Regional Medical Center and have such an outstanding physician take care of you. We are blessed in this area to have such a talented group of physicians to draw upon.”