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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs about Scheduling 

How long do I need to wait for a new patient appointment? 

Dr. Martin likes to spend as much time as needed working with new patients considering surgery. Therefore, our office staff may not be able to schedule you for an extended appointment with Dr. Martin any earlier than two to four weeks.  

Does Dr. Martin treat joints other than the hip or knee? 

No. Dr. Martin only performs total joint replacement of the hip or knee. However, our front office staff can recommend other accomplished surgeons throughout the Tucson area if you're in need of other joint care or less invasive procedures of the hip and knee. 

What do I need to accomplish before my appointment?

Please submit your new patient paperwork either by mail or by hand as soon as you complete it. It typically takes 5 business days for new patient paperwork to make it from our office to your home by mail, as well as 5 business days for it to return to us by mail. Make sure your films (x-rays or MRIs) are either already at our office or with you when you arrive. Dr. Martin cannot see you without submitted new patient paperwork and films. 

How long is a typical appointment with Dr. Martin? 

Dr. Martin is efficient and experienced, and typically does not need to see patients any longer than fifteen to thirty minutes. 

FAQs about Billing 

Why did I receive a check to my home address? 

Dr. Martin does not accept assignment, which simply means that we (and you!) receive slightly more money from Medicare and Medicare supplement plans by having payments sent to your home instead of our office. The money sent to your home is intended for Dr. Martin to pay for your services. Please endorse the check and either send it by mail or drop it off at 7444 N. La Cholla Blvd., Tucson AZ 85741. 

 How do I endorse a check to Dr. Martin?

At the top of the back of your check, please write "Payable to Dr. David Martin", and sign your own name below. 

Should I have primary insurance AND supplemental insurance before scheduling surgery with Dr. Martin? 

We recommend having both a primary and supplementary insurance plan before scheduling surgery within our practice. While your primary insurance should cover 80% of Dr. Martin's costs, you will be personally responsible for paying the remaining 20% of costs without a supplemental plan. 

I have Medicare. Was my supplemental insurance billed? 

Medicare automatically forwards the claim to your listed supplemental insurance after processing the claim. 

I have both Medicare and a supplemental insurance. Why isn't my surgery or appointment covered in full?  

While Medicare and a supplemental insurance cover the vast majority of Dr. Martin's costs, there is oftentimes a leftover patient responsibility, even with Plan F supplemental plans. Please call the Billing Department for any questions regarding your patient responsibility portion. 

How do I pay this bill I received from Northwest Medical Center? 

We do not control any hospital billing. Please call the hospital at (520) 742-9000 and ask the operator for their Billing Department. 

How can I reach Dr. Martin's billing department? 

Leave Patty, the Office Manager, a voice message at (520) 742-5611. You're also welcome to call the front desk (520) 742-9900 and ask for Chris, the Billing Assistant. 

FAQs about Pre-Surgery 

Why haven't I heard from Narcy? Why haven't I received Narcy's paperwork in the mail? 

Narcy will call you within two days to one week after your initial appointment. Your paperwork will arrive to your mailing address approximately one month before surgery and no earlier. 

I'm not sure where to have my labs done. 

Look at the paperwork Narcy sent you. She should dictate whether to have them done at Northwest Medical Center, your primary care physician's office, or another lab. Please call Narcy at (520) 742-1670 with any questions. 

What other doctors do I need to receive clearance from before my surgery? 

The paperwork Narcy sent you will dictate which doctors you must visit and receive clearance from before your scheduled surgery date. Again, call Narcy at (520) 742-1670 with any questions. 

What number do I call to schedule my labs at Northwest Medical Center? 

Either call (520) 742-9000 and ask for Pre-Admission scheduling or call (520) 469-8619. 

I left a message for Northwest Medical Center's Pre-Admissions Scheduling, but they haven't returned my call yet. 

Wait for them to call you back. Sometimes it can take up to a week for a return call. Leaving another message will not expedite the process. Dr. Martin's front office staff has no control over what occurs at the hospital. 

FAQs about Post-Operative Care

What can I do if I'm experiencing constipation? 

Constipation is associated with the use of strong painkillers. One simple solution is taking 2 tablets of Senokot Laxative twice daily and 1 tablespoon of mineral oil three times daily. Both products can be found at your local drug store. 

I'm a knee patient with a CPM machine. How often do I use it? 

The CPM is to be used at home 2 or 3 times per day for 1 to 2 hours at a time, averaging 3 to 6 hours per day. Your 5 day post-op goal should be 90-100 degrees. Your 10 day post-op goal should be 100-110 degrees. Your 15 day post-op goal should be 110-115 degrees. 

My knee incision is red and inflamed. Is this normal? 

The top of the knee incision will become more red and inflamed than the rest of the incision due to the increased tension on the skin in this area. 

I'm experiencing drainage, oozing, or blisters on my incision. 

If you have any blisters, cover them up with gauze. They should dry up and disappear within a week. A little bit of drainage or bleeding is normal until you are off of blood thinners. Cover with gauze if this occurs. 

I'm feeling so tired. How long will I feel this way? 

Lethargy is quite common after major knee and hip surgery due to the large wound and the accompanying anemia. You may feel this way for approximately 6-8 weeks. 

I need more medication. What do I do? 

Your post-operative blood thinner and post-operative antibiotic prescriptions do not need to be refilled. Refills for pain medications may be requested during the week and during office hours. Please anticipate your needs in advance, as Dr. Martin typically leaves the office Friday afternoon and does not return until Wednesday morning-- he sees patients in the hospital either post-operatively or surgery on Fridays, Mondays, and Tuesdays. Controlled substances cannot be called into your pharmacy and will need to be picked up from our office during office hours. 

How long do I need to wear the Ted hose (stockings)? 

The white stockings are to be worn for ten days after surgery and only when you're standing or moving around. 

My joint seems to be swelling. Is this normal? 

The knee or hip will be warm and swollen for approximately 2-3 months. It will remain warm and swollen until the incision fades from red to white. 

 I think I have a fever. Is this normal? 

It is normal for patients to experience a low-grade fever for the first ten days post-operatively of less than 100.5 degrees. If your temperature goes above 101 degrees, call our office. 

When can I start taking my vitamins and supplements again? 

Multiple vitamins and supplements may be resumed after you are off your blood thinner medication. 

When can I shower? What do I need to be aware of when showering? 

 Keep the dressing on unless there is excessive bleeding. If there's excessive bleeding, call our office. You can shower without concern so long as the incision is covered. 

When can I get in the pool? 

Not until Dr. Martin tells you that you can. 

When can I take off the bandage? 

Ten days after surgery.