Serving The Rio Grande Valley

Rio Grande Orthopedic Center
Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to bring for my first visit?
We need for all new patients to bring their UPDATED insurance cards, Photo ID, and a list of their current medications.

I have a copy of my x-rays, should I bring them to my visit?
We do take our own copies of x-rays in our office but patients can bring their own copies as long as they are of at least 3 months recent and if they are for the knees, they must have been taken standing up.

Should I bring my MRI to the visit as well?
MRI’s can be brought as long as we have a narrative report, CD’s can be left at home.

Do I need to be fasting?
We do not require for our patient’s to fast before our visit as no lab work will be done.

I do not have insurance, how much does the office visit cost?
We are unable to determine an exact price for each visit as we do not know what the provider will be doing in the exam room. We would like for patients to be prepared as the first office visit MUST be paid in FULL. This includes the Office Visit, x-rays, and any injections that may be given.

How much are injections?
Please contact our office for further details as injection prices may vary.

The injection I received on my visit is not giving me any relief, what do I do?
Depending on the damage and inflammation that is currently there on the injured site, it may take up to a week to feel any relief if a cortisone injection was given, or it can take up to one month after the final injection of the series of Supartz.

Would I be able to obtain a copy of my x-rays?
Copies of x-rays may be provided to our patients in which they do include a $10 fee for EACH x-ray.

Do I, the patient, need to pay for my medical records?
Patients receive first copy of records at no charge. Other providers of patients have no charge as long as we have a SIGNED release of medical records forms faxed to us. If the patient was referred to us for an office visit, that progress note will be faxed to the office, all other notes will be faxed upon receiving the medical release form. Other companies as in attorneys and medical records retrieval companies will have a charge of $25 for the first twenty pages and $0.50 per page there after.

If I need to have surgery, do I set up my own appointments?
If a patient is to need surgery, we will have them meet Martha, our surgery coordinator, on the day of the visit or have them call her as well as she will set up all appointments with the providers needed for surgical clearance.

How soon can I get in a cancellation slot for surgery?
Cancellations do often happen due to patients not being cleared by their provider. In order to be placed on a cancellation slot we will need for the patient to be cleared by their provider as well.

What is the wear and tear of a replacement?
The wear and tear for any replacement is 25 years.

When do I go register at the hospital for my surgery?
Martha will be setting up your pre-op and your first post-op visit. The day that you come to pre-register you must first come to our office to sign forms and speak with our provider to answer any questions you may have. You will need to bring you medications as the hospital will require them. Once you have finished here in our office you will need to go to the Valley Baptist Medical Center – East Tower.

I need forms filled out for my employer, how soon can that be taken care of?
Any forms that need to be filled out MUST be dropped off to the front desk clerk and they will be left for the provider to fill out. It can take up to 7-10 business days for forms to be filled out. Please be advised that if there is missing information on the form as to name and date of birth, the form may be delayed.


I live alone and have no one to care for me after surgery, what would I need to do?
If a patient lives alone and has no one that is able to help them, the best advice we give our patients is to stay at a rehab center. As well as after the rehab center a home health will be going to the patient’s home to continue with therapy. This can be chosen on the day of pre-registration.

Would I be able to climb a flight of stairs after surgery as I do not live on the 1st floor?
When a patient does not live on the first floor and just had surgery, it would be best to stay at a rehab center as well as the Physical Therapists will teach the patient how to climb the stairs correctly to avoid injury.

What time do I arrive at the hospital the day of surgery?
Arrival time for the day of surgery will be determined by Valley Baptist Register Nurses. Please contact the VBMC and have them transfer you to the correct department to let you know.

How many days will I be in the hospital after surgery?
Each patient will spend up to 2-3 days in the hospital depending on how they are progressing.

Who will be providing me, the patient, with pain medications after surgery?
Once a patient is out of surgery, the VBMC nurses will be providing you with the correct dose of pain medication that is needed. You, the patient, will also be discharged with a prescription for your medication as well.

Who will be providing me with the correct equipment after surgery?
If the patient is going straight home after the hospital, VBMC will send the paperwork to the DME Company and the DME will be delivered to the patient’s home. If the patient is being discharged from the rehab facility, our office will be contacted and we will send the paperwork needed for the home health and DME Company.

How long will I need to have therapy?
Physical therapy can last up to 4-6 weeks. This all depends on the progress that the patient is making as well as the amount of damage that was previously there before the replacement.

I had surgery about a week ago but I am having a lot of swelling, redness and my surgical site is hot to the touch? What do I do?
When a patient is having all of these symptoms, it is completely normal as it is part of the healing process. The redness is caused by the inflammation and that is when we highly recommend icing and elevating as much as possible. This tends to happen as well do to over activity. It is best to not push yourself too much in physical therapy.

I am in a lot of pain and I am having fevers, chills, and/or sweats, what do I do?
If you, the patient, are experiencing these symptoms please call our office as soon as possible.

When can I wash the surgical area without covering the incision?
Once the scab is fully off of the incision the patient is able to wet the incision site.

When can I begin to drive after surgery?
It is best to wait until the 2nd follow up visit after surgery to see if you, the patient, is cleared to begin driving.

What activities can be engaged after surgery?
Low impact activities will be best as in, walking, biking and swimming.

What are my restrictions after surgery?
No lifting more than 50lbs, no climbing ladders and no kneeling onto the affected area.

Do I need to be placed on an antibiotic after surgery for dental work?
If the patient is to have a cleaning done, no antibiotic is needed, but if the patient were to have anything invasive as in a root canal or a tooth pulled, etc. an antibiotic will be required. Please contact our office to send your dentist the letter which includes our requirements on the antibiotics.



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    1601 Treasure Hills Blvd.
    Harlingen, TX 78550

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