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St. Mary’s and surgeons part of national joint replacement program

December 13, 2012

Arthritic disease is the most common cause of disability, affecting a fifth of American adults. This degenerative disease of the hip or knee makes working or performing the simplest daily tasks extremely painful or impossible.

Although joint replacement surgery is very effective, it is expensive and countless men and women continue to live with disability because they cannot afford the procedure. But on Friday, December 7, more than 200 uninsured or underinsured Americans received free hip or knee replacements thanks to the generosity of more than 100 surgeons, 49 hospitals, and several artificial joint manufacturers.

St. Mary’s Hospital and the surgeons of Rocky Mountain Orthopaedic Associates were part of the nationwide effort called Operation Walk USA 2012. “Joint replacement is major surgery requiring specialized hospital care and therapy,” says Michael Herrick, director of Neuro-Musculoskeletal Services at St. Mary’s. “St. Mary’s was happy to partner with Rocky Mountain Orthopaedics to give three area residents back their mobility and relieve their pain.” The three are patients of Marillac Clinic, which serves low and moderate income, uninsured and underinsured individuals and families.