Gillette Orthopedic Surgeon Emphasizes Listening to Patients

Oct 31, 2018

Gillette, Wyoming resident Jamie Marchetti hadn’t planned to spend Labor Day weekend 2017 nursing a hurt ankle, but a tumble down her stairs left her in pain and hobbling. After a visit with Dr. Robert Grunfeld at Powder River Orthopedics and Spine, a Campbell County Medical Group clinic, Jamie was put in a boot for a few weeks to see how the injury would heal.

“He worked with me on using the boot to see if it would heal on its own,” Jamie said. “One of my favorite things with him is he’s not in a rush to do surgery.”

Unfortunately, after a few weeks in a boot, Jamie was still experiencing quite a bit of pain and discomfort from her connective tissue injury. Jamie said she appreciated the time spent with Dr. Grunfeld addressing her concerns about surgery, but ultimately it was determined that surgery, scheduled for early November, was necessary for full recovery.

“I didn’t feel like I was being pushed into surgery,” Jamie said. “He let me come to the place of readiness.”

Dr. Robert Grunfeld ankle surgery on Jamie Marchetti at Powder River Orthopedics and Spine in Gillette, WyomingThe surgery actually ended up being quite involved with multiple procedures to fix the deltoid ligament, syndesmosis (the joint where the tibia and fibula meet) and stabilize her ankle. While her surgery ended up being quite extensive, Dr. Grunfeld said he likes to take a conservative approach before jumping into surgery.

“A lot of times the body will heal itself,” Dr. Grunfeld said. And if it doesn’t, as in Jamie’s case, providing a clear picture of what surgery and recovery will look part is an important part of setting patients up for success, he says.

“The most common question is ‘how long it will take for recovery,’” Dr. Grunfeld said. “It’s always a tough question to answer. It’s usually a longer road than people realize.”

Post-surgery Jamie spent four weeks not walking on her foot before being moved to a walking boot and physical therapy at Campbell County Health Rehabilitation Services.

“Recovery went super well,” Jamie said. “It was smooth for the most part.”

Part of the successful recovery was knowing exactly what to expect post-surgery, something Jamie credits to Dr. Grunfeld for spending the extra time explaining the process and answering all of her questions.

“There was a lot of conversation prior to surgery about what was going to happen,” Jamie said. “He has always taken the time to fully answer my questions. He really recognized me as a person, rather than just as a patient.”

With the help of physical therapy, Jamie said she feels about 90 percent and is anxious to keep working toward that full recovery and regaining her activity level, and being able to rock a dazzling pair of heels.

“I feel like a lot of it is doing it and getting back into it,” Jamie said.

Expert Orthopedic & Spine Care In Gillette, Wyoming
Dr. Robert Grunfeld is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon at Powder River Orthopedics and Spine who specializes in foot and ankle procedures. The Board-certified physicians at PROS take an innovative and comprehensive approach to the treatment of acute and chronic orthopedic pain. Have your procedure in our modern operating rooms at Campbell County Memorial Hospital or Powder River Surgery Center.

See the PROS for:

  • Foot and ankle surgery
  • General orthopedic surgery
  • Joint replacement surgery, including hip and knee
  • Shoulder, elbow, and hand surgery
  • Spine surgery, including minimally invasive procedures
  • Sports medicine

For a consultation, call 307.686.1413 or visit

Article written by Kim Phagan-Hansel, Wyoming freelance writer