Our friend, Carolyn, was kind enough to agree to share the details of her recent knee surgery in Playa del Carmen with our readers. This is her story…[cue the intro music].
Relief Was a Long Way Down the Road
Carolyn is originally from Canada and has suffered from knee pain for many years. She saw an orthopedist in Canada who gave her a cortisone shot that relieved the pain, at least temporarily. When the pain returned, she returned to her primary care doctor and was given another referral to an orthopedist. The earliest appointment that she could get was three months later.
When that appointment finally rolled around, the orthopedist recommended a knee replacement and scheduled it for January of 2021. That’s not a typo, folks, I meant to write 2021.
Looking for a Better Solution in Old Mexico
We know Carolyn because she’s a member of our expat community and divides her time between Canada and Mexico. When she returned following the disappointing news from the orthopedist, she decided to see what Mexico had to offer and contacted the Arthros Centro de Ortopedia y Traumatología in Playa del Carmen. She was able to get an appointment the same day and was examined Dr. Omar J. Garcia Contreras. That was on October 22, 2019.
Pay close attention to the timeline as we move through the rest of the story.
Dr. Garcia sent her for an MRI in Cancun which was done on October 25, 2019. Before leaving the center, Carolyn received a disk of the results and the radiologist emailed a report to both her and her orthopedist. She was surprised to see that her copy of the report had been translated into English.
Immediately after the MRI, she sent a Whatsapp message to her orthopedist and he told her to stop by his office on her way home to go over the results.
By the way, it’s not unusual for doctors in Mexico to give their patients their personal cellphone numbers so they can contact them directly.
Dr. Garcia said that he didn’t believe that a full knee replacement was warranted and recommended laparoscopic surgery to repair the meniscus and bursitis around the knee cap. He said he could schedule it for the following week.
Carolyn agreed and underwent surgery at a private hospital in Playa del Carmen on October 29, 2019.
Following the two hour procedure, she was moved to a private hospital room to recover. She said the room was very nice and she even had her own bathroom. She was released later that same day.
On November 1, 2019, she returned for a follow-up appointment with Dr. Garcia. The knee was healing nicely and he recommended that she start physical therapy at the clinic on November 5, 2019, which she did.
How is Carolyn’s Knee These Days?
I asked Carolyn this very question today via Whatsapp. Here was her response: “My knee is feeling great no more limp!!! Very happy that I did it! I had no medical coverage for this, it was out of my pocket! So much better then having an unnecessary knee replacement!”
How Much Did This All Cost?
Carolyn doesn’t have any health insurance in Mexico, so this whole thing was 100% out-of-pocket. Here’s a breakdown of the costs along with the total:
Initial Consultation with the Orthopedist: $700 pesos
MRI: $4,988 pesos
Lab Work: $820 pesos
Surgery, Including a Private Hospital Room: $48,000 pesos
Medications: $1,000 pesos
Physical Therapy: $500 pesos for the first visit, $400 pesos each session after. Carolyn went to three sessions.
Grand Total: $56,808 pesos ($2,960 USD*, $3,915 CAD*)
* Based on current exchange rates of 19.19 MXN/1 USD, and 14.51 MXN/1 CAD
Contact Information for the Doctor
During my first year as a blogger, I rarely ever mentioned specific doctors in articles like this, but I found out quickly that that’s what some folks want, so here ya go:
Dr. Omar J. Garcia Contreras
Arthros Centro de Ortopedia y Traumatología
Phone: +52 984 879 4603
Let’s Wrap This Up
Since arriving in Mexico over four years ago, Linda and I have been continually impressed by the quality and cost of private healthcare in Mexico. From our own experiences to those of our friends, we have seen a system that is fast, affordable and consistently provides exceptional patient care.