Program Gives Free Knee and Hip Replacements to Uninsured

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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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  • 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.

  • Fenton jones

    I don’t know where else to turn.. I have osteoarthritis and am in so much pain I can no longer walk. I have put so much weight on so that doesn’t help. My husband and I have no med ins and no money. I am 54 and don’t want to live anymore. I’m afraid my husband is going to leave me bc I’m such a burden on him financially, physically and mentally. My depression is so bad I just don’t get out of bed. I see a lot of these comments are from a few years ago.. maybe there is no one reading these anymore. I’m closer to suicide every day.. I don’t want to bring my family down anymore. Please someone help me before it’s too late, I even have my suicide pack ready, pills, whisky and a very hot bath plus a sharp razor. Surely there must be more to life than this.

  • melhemleal

    My name is melhem chatting from Belize City,I am a person that have been in pain for 15 yrs and in need of my both hip replaced,after November of 2015 the pains just got sevear,Im a person of great fate and im sure there is an angel out ther that will assist me,God is great so my prayers will be answered.My email is

  • lewis tippie

    i am a 57 yr old male with no cartilage in either knee also have a torn mcl in right knee i wont lower myself to disability dont want to be another statistic for the government. i work 50 plus hrs a week my company does not have health insurance , nor can i afford it . i been working construction for over 49 yrs and want to continue i am on my knees alot and it takes the strength of my arms to lift me off the floor or dirt. maybe there is a payment plan ???? i am just asking for a chance been with same company since 1998
    thanks lewis

  • Lynda

    I am in excruciating pain.I have been told by several doctors I have no cartilege in either knee one is worse than the oher. I was scedualed for surgery but I was taken off my medicade when I became 63 and was told I can’t get medicare untill I turned 65.I am nw 64 and I will never make it another year.I can’t evenstand on my legs it is so painfull.I am disabled and low income I’m on social secrity.which only pays me 460 a month I can’t afford insurance.can you help me?if I could just get microscopic surgery I would be thankful.can you help me?

  • libby woodhead

    my friend is named Jamie glasscock he lives in San Angelo Texas he can barely walk his number is 325 7633220 please is there any way to help him. he has no insurance. he can t afford this surgery but please help us. I don’t know what else to do please thanks Libby w.

  • Teresa Sanders

    I am a 55 year old female in need of a right hip replacement, I have no cartilage in my left hip. I have been in pain for several months to were I could no longer work or walk without the use of crunches. I had several cortisone shots in my right hip,they haven’t helped. I have no insurance I have file for disability a month ago waiting on my claim. I need help can you please help. Here is my email address

  • svincent220

    I need hip replacement. I’m 55 years old I still work. I don’t have a choice I have bills and I hurt so very bad. I don’t have insurance and I can’t get pain pills. I take 3 advil,Tylenol, and elieve everyday to get thru.

    • Rolando Castellanos

      iam disable paralized with g b s my mother help me all the time ,hoever she is in pain,with her knee she needs a replacement,but we do not have any insurance or money will you please help us thanks

  • Kumbu Tenzin

    I am from Bhutan. I have had both Hips Replaced in the year 1995 in India. Now after 20 years, I am having pain day and night. Upon consultation with Doctor, the only option for is to again Replace the prosthesis which cost huge amount and for surgery I have to again go to India, as this type of surgery is not possible in my Country. Therefore, can you help me in terms of raising some fund for my surgery. my email

  • ashley cain

    my Fiancé was told January 2018 that he had a tumor on his hip.
    after surgery and removing the massive 10lb tumor his hip circulation had been cut off by the tumor of the blood and flow of the body’s needs that his hip bone is badly deteriorated they told him shortly after that he could loose his leg if he didn’t get a hip replaced, at the time he was uninsured and luckily charity care took care of the tumor, not being able to work due to the pain now were looking for help charity cares anything to help he had insurance but it cancelled on him he needs this hip replacement so badly we have a baby on the way and we need help we are from Gainesville ga and only 31

  • Isaac wasawa

    Am wasawa isaac currently in kenya i had a football accident when in school….am 19 years of age ….my right knee was dislocated ….am in pain in need of assistance……make my futer pliz

  • Lupe Saenz

    I am 62 and need a right knee replacement. We gave no insurance my husband and I started a business after he retired truck driving. My knee is bone on bone and we can not afford to get me the surgery. Our business has been a slow start so it has even affected our financial commitments. I know that this surgery would be s godsend. I hope to be able to get the surgery through your program.

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