How We Help
Physicians, orthopaedic surgeons and physical therapists in the host country perform the initial patient assessments to determine the candidates for surgery. These include medical and orthopaedic histories, x-rays and diagnoses. Approximately 4 months prior to a trip a small Operation Walk Team (2 orthopaedic surgeons and 2 RNs) visits the country further triages and screens patients.
The pre-trip allows the team leaders to plan the surgeries and based on these, assemble the necessary surgical supplies and implants. Lists of required items (which include virtually every item from scalpel blades to prosthesis to dressings and everything in between) are refined from year to year and submitted to vendors. Our approach is to ask for donations and barring this, to seek the best price possible for each item.
The next several weeks are spent working out the logistics of mission week – surgical schedules, OR staffing, team transportation and accommodations, packing and shipping of equipment and medicines. The cargo typically comprises approximately 4 tons.
Surgeries are performed during the first four days of the trip. Rehabilitation begins for all patients on their first post-operative day and is the primary activity as the week progresses. Operation Walk ward nurses and physiotherapists hold formal sessions for patients and their families to teach proper home care and rehabilitation exercises to be carried out following discharge.