Operation Walk USA 2012 to Provide Free Knee, Hip Replacements Across the Country

ROSEMONT, Ill., Dec. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- While more than one million hip and knee replacements are performed in the U.S. each year, countless men and women continue to live with severe arthritic pain and immobility because they cannot afford joint replacement surgery. Through the 2nd annual Operation Walk USA, more than 109 orthopaedic surgeons, at 49 hospitals in 29 states, will provide free joint replacements to 200 individuals on Dec. 7, 2012.

Operation Walk USA 2012 provides all aspects of treatment – surgery, hospitalization, and pre-and post-operative care – at no cost to participating patients.

Arthritic disease is the most common cause of disability in the U.S., affecting approximately 48 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. Hip and knee replacement surgeries are the most cost-effective and successful of all orthopedic procedures, eliminating pain and allowing patients to resume active, productive lives.

Operation Walk USA began in 2011 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 6,000 patients have received new knees and hips through the international Operation Walk.

"Regardless of circumstances, people in need should have relief from debilitating joint conditions and receive a new lease on life," said orthopaedic surgeon Adolph V. Lombardi, Jr., MD, President and founder of Operation Walk USA.  "This is the essence of Operation Walk USA."

In 2011, Operation Walk provided life-changing hip or knee replacements for 85 patients.

"I had constant pain for decades," said Richard Conroy, a 2011 Operation Walk USA participant from New York.  Since the surgery, "I look forward to going back to work, and golfing again – things that had been too painful for me to enjoy for many years."

The large number of orthopaedic surgeons and medical staff who volunteer their time and expertise each year, at participating hospitals throughout the U.S., "is really a testament to what a rewarding program this is, and what it does for everyone involved," said Lawrence D. Dorr, MD, the founder of Operation Walk (international), and an Operation Walk USA participant. "The ultimate service is unconditional giving of knowledge and skills. This is why we all chose medicine."

Device manufacturers Biomet, DePuy, MAKO Surgical, Smith & Nephew, Stryker, Total Joint Orthopedics (TJO), Inc. and Zimmer donated the hip and knee implants for Operation Walk USA 2012 patients.  Ortech Data, Inc. is providing a complimentary data system for OpWalkUSA patients.  Ortech will provide this data to the national arthroplasty registry, the American Joint Replacement Registry.   

For more information about total joint replacement, visit orthoinfo.org.

About Operation Walk USA 2012:

  • Operation Walk USA 2012 is based on the successful experiences of Operation Walk, which has provided hip and knee replacements to thousands of patients throughout the world since 1996. 
  • To find a list of participating orthopaedic surgeons and cities, visit www.opwalkusa.com, or follow Operation Walk USA 2012 on Facebook.

A Nation in Motion. More than one in four Americans have bone or joint health problems, making them the greatest cause of lost work days in the U.S. When orthopaedic surgeons restore mobility and reduce pain, they help people get back to work and to independent, productive lives. Orthopaedic surgeons provide the best value in American medicine in both human and economic terms and access to high-quality orthopaedic care keeps this "Nation in Motion." To learn more, to read hundreds of patient stories or to submit your own story, visit anationinmotion.org

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SOURCE American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons; Operation Walk USA



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