While hip and knee replacement surgeries are among the most common and successful of all orthopaedic surgeries, many individuals who desperately need new joints to minimize pain and restore life quality do not receive them because of financial or other constraints. Through Operation Walk USA 2014, an estimated 120 patients will receive free joint replacements from 85 volunteer orthopaedic surgeons, December 1 through December 6, 2014.
The annual Operation Walk USA program is held during the entire first week of December, allowing for greater hospital, surgeon and medical staff participation.
Operation Walk USA provides all aspects of treatment - surgery, hospitalization, and pre-and post-operative care - at no cost to participating patients who may not qualify for government health coverage, have insurance or afford surgery on their own. This year, Angel Flights East - a nonprofit organization providing free air transportation for children and adults with medical conditions who require treatment and care far from home - will provide private charter flights to patients' family members if they live out of state, yet are needed during post-op care and recovery.
Arthritic disease is the most common cause of disability in the U.S., affecting approximately 46 million Americans, or more than 21 percent of the adult population.
The debilitating pain of end-stage hip or knee degenerative disease often makes working, or completing even the simplest of daily tasks, excruciatingly painful or impossible.
"There is no better gift than eliminating someone's pain and providing them with the opportunity to regain their mobility, productivity, dignity and life quality," said New Albany, Ohio orthopaedic surgeon Adolph V. Lombardi, Jr., MD, president of Operation Walk USA. "We eagerly embark on the 5th Annual Operation Walk USA program, and express our sincere gratitude to the many medical volunteers, donors and supporters, and our patients and their families, who allow us to continue this annual tradition."
Operation Walk USA began in 2010 following the tremendous success of Operation Walk, an international volunteer medical service organization that provides treatment for patients with arthritis and joint conditions in developing countries. To date, more than 6,500 patients have received new knees and hips through the international Operation Walk, and nearly 500 patients through Operation Walk USA, held in the month of December, 2010 through 2013. Since 2010, Operation Walk USA knee and hip replacement surgeries and related care are valued at more than $13.2 million.
Device manufacturers Biomet, DePuy, Smith & Nephew, Stryker, Total Joint Orthopedics (TJO), Inc. and Zimmer are donating the hip and knee implants for 2014 Operation Walk; SunMedica, Inc., orthoRAP and koolRAP products; Quill Medical, Inc., sutures; and Ortech Data, Inc., electronic medical record (EMR) management. Ortech will transfer Operation Walk USA 2014 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant data to the American Joint Replacement Registry, a national center for data collection and research on total hip and knee replacements.
Operation Walk USA 2014 facts:
Want to learn more about joint replacement, or how to better take care of your joints
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) hosts an informative and interactive patient education site at www.orthoinfo.org
Orthopaedic surgeons restore mobility and reduce pain; they help people get back to work and to lead independent, productive lives. Visit ANationInMotion.org to read successful orthopaedic stories.