Program Gives Free Knee and Hip Replacements to Uninsured

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Imagine living in pain with every step, or every minute of the day, and not being able to afford surgery that could give you your life back. Now “Operation Walk” is here to help, offering hip and knee replacement surgeries for free. On Saturday some 200 people across the country will be getting free knee and hip replacement surgeries including seven here in the metro.

Dennis Conner is one of those lucky few. Dr Tom Samuelson says on Saturday, he will replace Conner’s left knee and hopefully then Conner will be pain-free. It was a surgery Conner wasn’t going to be able to do because he doesn’t have insurance. But “Operation Walk” is all about helping folks like Conner who don’t have insurance.

“It’s a way of helping out those in need, the patients who have these arthritic problems are struggling and can’t get around very well,” said Samuelson. “They need assistance and unless this program was available they wouldn’t’ be able to have the procedure.”

Everything is donated from the surgery all the way through rehab. Dr Samuelson says it’s rewarding to know he’s helping get people like Conner back on their feet again. Conner says he hopes to be back out on he nature walks he loves so much by the Spring.

“It’s a blessing this is all happening,” said Conner, “a great Christmas gift coming for me.”

All the local patients will have their surgeries Saturday at St. Joseph Hospital thanks to the physicians with Kansas City Bone and Joint and Carondelet Orthopedic Surgeons.

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8 comments

  • Juanita Berretta

    I am a 53 year old female in need of a right knee replacement. I have no cartlidge in my knee. It has been scrapped twice and have had several cortisone shots in my knee. they haven’t helped. Please I need help. I have no insurance and waiting for a court date for disability. Here is my info. Juanita Berretta 407 N. West Street Somerville, Tenn. 38068 901 590 6910

  • tammie

    I’m 54 years female. ….. I have a bucket handle tear on my right knee.. I can barely walk now because I have used my other leg to hold my weight. I don’t have insurance….I have been to all the charity hospitals near me ….nobody can help me.

  • Marc LeRoux

    I am 63 years old and have been dealing with a bone on bone condition in my left hip since 2010 when the pain and disability first manifested. By now, 2015, I can’t do much and at the current rate, I may not be able to walk at all in a year. I often wake up around 3:00am these days too sore to sleep and relief through repositioning is hardly possible. I cannot travel very far, cannot take walks and was not able to ride a bicycle since 2013. I cannot go up stairs normally. I keep up good cheer with the help of my wonderful wife and friends, but I have been dealing with this for five years now. I took good care of myself all my life, eating simple (always keep a garden) and used to run, work-out and hike, etc. until this became a problem. Now I have a gut for the first time in my life. I worry about my health declining due to the increasingly sedate lifestyle forced by this problem. I worry that if I must wait for Medicare coverage I might have developed venous clots that might kill me on the operating table, etc.

    I work part time driving cars for a rental company near our airport (PDX), but even that is becoming difficult. Our income is so low that the Affordable Care System is still too expensive when the deductible is considered so we/I have no coverage. I don’t expect anything and can’t imagine this would lead to anything real, but I am that desperate that I will ask here. I would be so grateful. Just in case this is real….
    Marc LeRoux

    • Marc LeRoux

      I searched the key words and found the site and filled out an application. Since then my hip problem has forced me to quit my job. I have received a reply from Op Walk. They said that the surgeries are typically scheduled for No. and Dec, but resources are limited and there is no guarantee that all applicants will be served. They must find willing participants in the regions where applicants live, etc. If they do, then they put you through a qualifying process and go from there. So I am hoping. Go fill out an application, it can’t hurt and you may get help. Good luck.