their participation in Operation Walk USA, a humanitarian organization that provides
free hip and knee replacements for patients who cannot afford the surgery.
The four physicians of OrthoWilmington who specialize in joint replacement are joining the
efforts of surgeons nationwide to perform these pro-bono surgeries. Although the official date
for Operation Walk USA - 2012 was December 7, OrthoWilmington will continue to perform free
joint replacement surgeries for previously selected patients over the next four to five months.
The most common cause of disability in the United States, arthritic disease now affects 46 million
Americans, or more than 21 percent of the adult population. Damage to the joints caused
by arthritis or injury creates debilitating swelling and stiffness. Joint replacement surgery replaces
the damaged bone in the joint with plastic or metal. After surgery and rehabilitation, patients
can expect an increase in mobility, range of motion and overall comfort.
Unfortunately, joint replacement surgeries are financially out of reach for many under-insured
and uninsured people. According to their website, Operation Walk USA assists US citizens and
permanent residents who do not qualify for government assistance programs by harnessing a
national network of volunteer hospitals, physicians, nurses and physical therapists who are passionate
about their work and willing to assist with this effort.
At the local level, OrthoWilmington is teaming up with New Hanover Regional Medical Center
and its orthopedic specialty facility, Cape Fear Hospital, to provide qualified patients with surgical
experts, anesthesia teams, operating rooms and specialized staff.
“Joint pain can affect so many aspects of a person’s everyday life,” explained Shawn B. Hocker,
MD, one of the participating surgeons with OrthoWilmington who is fellowship-trained in joint
replacement. “It is our mission to help our patients regain their ability to live and move without
pain. This effort will provide that freedom for selected patients who otherwise could not afford
joint replacement surgery.”
The physicians who make up OrthoWilmington’
Shawn B. Hocker, MD; Scott Q. Hannum, MD; and G. Daxton Steele, MD.
OrthoWilmington offers comprehensive orthopaedic services, specialties and technologies to
patients throughout southeastern North Carolina, with locations in Wilmington, Jacksonville and
Leland. The extensive medical team includes fellowship-trained and board-certified experts in
a variety of subspecialties, including spine, sports medicine, joint replacement & reconstruction,
hand & upper extremity, foot & ankle, and trauma. In addition to surgical specialties, PM&R
(physical medicine & rehabilitation)
For more information, including patient education resources, visit orthowilmington.com.