Kansas City Bone and Joint Clinic Gives Back to Help Patients Move Through Life Pain-Free
In 2012, Janet Sitzmann gingerly and painfully made her way through life on two bad knees, often assisted by a cane or a walker. With no insurance and no way to afford knee replacement surgery out-of-pocket, her situation seemed hopeless.
Then she heard about the Kansas City Bone and Joint Clinic’s participation in Operation Walk, a not-for-profit medical service organization that provides free surgical treatment to care for debilitating bone and joint conditions for patients that have no access to care due to financial reasons. After completing a clinical evaluation, medical clearance and meeting financial need criteria, Sitzmann found she had been chosen as the first recipient of the KCBJ’s annual participation in Operation Walk.
In December 2012, she received a bilateral knee replacement at St. Joseph Medical Center. Her operation was performed by Dr. Jeffrey Salin, DO, an orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in hip and knee replacement. He recalls the feeling of giving back when the practice donates a costly and life-changing surgery each holiday season.
“When we get together as a team for Operation Walk, there’s the feeling of doing something so worthwhile,” Salin says. “It’s more than just a job, it’s a feel-good attitude. It’s exciting and fun.”
Gerald McNamara, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in total knee and hip replacement, says it can be challenging for surgeons to donate their services because they are such a small part of the overall expense.
“It’s not just on surgeon’s shoulders to offer their skills. It requires a facility, staff for the pre-op, OR, and recovery; anesthesia, suppliers of the implants, therapists, home health and availability of medication at a reasonable cost,” McNamara says. “When everyone gets involved we can make a big difference.”
In April 2013, Sitzmann was able to travel to France to be at the birth of her first grandchild, navigating airports and caring for her family with ease. Today she thanks the Kansas City Bone and Joint Clinic and all the partners who made it possible for her to live without debilitating knee pain.
“Before, I was going from day to day, unsure if I was going to make it into tomorrow,” Sitzmann says. “Now I feel limitless, like I can step into a future that I didn’t have before.”
The Kansas City Bone and Joint Clinic has partnered with Operation Walk for four years and has provided 10 total hip and knee replacement surgeries to patients with medical and financial need. Doctors Bruce McNamara, Salin, Samuelson and Latteier, all surgeons who specialize in the surgical treatment of hips and knees, say they look forward to continuing with their participation.
“Operation Walk allows people to regain comfort level and function which allows them to return to meaningful work activities,” says Thomas Samuelson, MD. “‘Thanks for giving me my life back’ is not uncommon to hear after helping these patients, and that’s gratifying to us.”
The Kansas City Bone and Joint Clinic, a division of the Signature Medical Group of Kansas City, is comprised of nine physicians. Robert Bruce, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine as well as hip and knee replacements for more than 25 years, says the group’s focus is to provide the best service possible to the Kansas City community.
Since 1940, the clinic has provided orthopedic service with compassion in Overland Park for patients with musculoskeletal disorders and injuries. In 2007, it opened a new facility at 10701 Nall. In March 2015, it opened its newest facility at 3151 NE Carnegie Drive in Lee’s Summit.
In addition to Operation Walk, KCBJ physicians and staff give back to their community through a variety of Charitable opportunities including the Signature Healthcare Foundation, Harvesters, the Heart Walk, the KC Ability Expo and breast cancer fund-raising.
For more information about KCBJ, visit https://www.facebook.com/KCBoneJoint.