Restoring Mobility to Those in Need . . . One Joint at a Time.
Operation Walk Utah Provided 9 No-Cost Hip and Knee Replacements

Operation Walk Utah Provided 9 No-Cost Hip and Knee Replacements

On December 2, 2011, Operation Walk USA was an amazing success. Thanks to countless volunteers and their efforts, we were able to provide free surgery to nine local Utahans.The patients were preselected by the Operation Walk team based on need, and the surgeries were provided to them at no cost.

“This opportunity to provide life-changing surgeries to members of our community who otherwise couldn’t obtain them is both humbling and rewarding,” said Aaron Hofmann, M.D., board-certified orthopedic surgeon on the medical staff and director of the Center for Precision Joint Replacement at Salt Lake Regional Medical Center. “Painful and non-function knees and hips are a tremendous hindrance to quality of life, and the people we help through Operation Walk have often lived with their disability for decades. The new-found freedom and mobility provided by a new knee or hip can literally change someone’s outlook on life.”

The nine Salt Lake Regional patients received four knee and five hip replacements. Dr. Hofmann performed the surgeries along with orthopedic surgeons Jeremy McCandless, M.D., Trevor Magee, M.D., and Kim Bertin, M.D.

Building on the global success of Operation Walk, an international effort that has improved the lives and mobility of more than 5,000 patients in developing countries, approximately 55 orthopedic surgeons will provide free hip and knee replacement surgery to more than 90 patients at 23 hospitals in 15 states every year.

All aspects of treatment – surgery, hospitalization, and pre-and postoperative care – are provided at no cost to the patients. Operation Walk USA 2011 is a collaborative effort between three orthopedic organizations: The Hip Society, The Knee Society, and the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons (AAHKS), as well as 23 participating hospitals.

Jeff Frandsen, CEO of Salt Lake Regional Medical Center, said, “Salt Lake Regional Medical Center is extremely pleased to support Operation Walk and to provide means to change patients’ lives. Health care is about healing of all types, and the effects of these types of surgeries go well beyond the physical body.”

Millions of Americans suffer from painful joint problems and may end up one day needing a joint replacement. Each year, more than 900,000 hip and knee replacements are performed in the United States, but this figure does not include the many people who go without the surgery because they don’t have the financial capacity to afford the procedure.

Device manufacturers Biomet, DePuy, Smith & Nephew, Stryker, and Zimmer donated the hip and knee implants. Total Joint Orthopedics, a Salt Lake City-based manufacturer, is providing the hip replacements locally. Nike will provide a pair of new shoes for each patient.

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