Published 11/1/2011
Olga Foley

Joint replacement societies launch Operation Walk USA

Coordinated effort will provide joint replacements to nation’s poor

“Millions of U.S. citizens have crippling arthritis. End-stage degenerative joint disease of the hip and knee adversely affects an individual’s quality of life, making simple activities of daily living extremely painful,” notes Adolph V. Lombardi Jr, MD, president of The Hip Society.

Inspired by his participation in Operation Walk International, an organization that sends volunteer surgeons to developing countries to perform joint replacements, Dr. Lombardi contacted his counterparts at other organizations with interest in total joint replacement. Both Robert B. Bourne, MD, president of The Knee Society, and Carlos J. Lavernia, MD, president of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons (AAHKS) endorsed the idea of organizing a similar venture in the United States.

“Although total hip and total knee replacements are successful in restoring mobility and improving quality of life, the working poor (100 percent to 200 percent poverty level) who do not qualify for any government assistance programs may not be able to afford these surgeries. The mission of Operation Walk USA is to provide total hip and total knee replacements to these patients,” said Dr. Lombardi.

On Dec. 2 and 3, 2011, more than 25 orthopaedic surgeons from 15 states across the nation will be performing pro bono total joint replacement surgeries on patients who are unable to receive the appropriate and much needed surgical care due to financial circumstances. In a concerted effort, some of the country’s top total-joint surgeons will perform these procedures at their home hospitals.

“We deliberately chose the dates of Dec. 2–3, 2011, because they fall between the Thanksgiving and the Hanukkah/Christmas holidays—a time characterized by thanks, caring, and giving,” said Dr. Lombardi. “The mission of Operation Walk USA is to give patients in the United States who suffer from painful and debilitating joint diseases a new lease on life. This will be an extremely rewarding experience for everyone—patients, participating surgeons, and their teams.”

For more information about Operation Walk USA, or to find out how you can participate, please contact The Hip Society’s office at hip@aaos.org

Operation Walk USA participating physicians

As of Oct. 15, 2011, the following orthopaedic surgeons had agreed to participate in the Dec. 2–3 Operation Walk USA campaign:

Orthopaedic Surgeon


C. Lowry Barnes, MD


Michael E. Berend, MD


Fred D. Cushner, MD

New York

David F. Dalury, MD


Douglas A. Dennis, MD


Anthony M. DiGioia, MD


David D. Dore, MD


Lawrence D. Dorr, MD


Gerard A. Engh, MD


Thomas K. Fehring, MD

North Carolina

David A. Fisher, MD


Kevin L. Garvin, MD


A. Seth Greenwald, D Phil (Oxon)


William J. Hozack, MD


Aaron A. Hofman, MD


Matthew Johnston, DO


Harpal S. Khanuja, MD


Carlos J. Lavernia, MD


Courtland G. Lewis, MD


Adolph V. Lombardi Jr, MD


Gordon Newbern, MD


Javad Parvizi, MD


Merrill A. Ritter, MD


Ayal Segal, MD

New York

Giles R. Scuderi, MD

New York