To educate international surgeons from underdeveloped countries in various treatment alternatives that will ultimately translate into helping thousands of people worldwide who are suffering from crippling foot and ankle deformities.
To enable surgeons globally to perform surgical care of foot and ankle deformities in underprivileged patients and communities and to engage in humanitarian programs incorporating education and teaching of local, regional and national orthopedic surgeons.
Taking care of individuals limited by crippling deformity in our international communities is not only a privilege but our obligation.
The need for education and surgery worldwide is clear. In the western world we take for granted the prompt access not only to teaching and education, but also orthopedic treatment. Our goal is to continue teaching, education, research and surgery, but to focus this in countries where we perceive the need to be greatest.
In the USA today, there are 324 million people and 1500 fellowship trained orthopedic foot and ankle surgeons a ratio of 1 surgeon to 216,000 population. Kenya has a population of 44 million and one orthopedic surgeon trained in foot and ankle reconstruction. In Namibia with a population of 2 million and one provider, and in China with a population of 1.5 billion people and 36 highly trained foot and ankle surgeons, a dismal ratio at best. Not only do the numbers speak for themselves, but the quality of foot and ankle care in some of these countries is not of a high standard and the access to treatment by crippled patients is very limited, and if so, is only available in the larger cities.
The types of deformities we treat include a range of birth defects (the majority being untreated clubfoot deformities), those following traumatic injury, and a variety of diseases which affect and paralyze nerves and muscles of the leg causing terrible foot and ankle deformities. To a large extent, these deformities remain present in adulthood, limiting any form of productivity in individuals who are largely rurally based.
We are a large group of internationally based orthopedic surgeons who participate in the delivery of our mission. We work globally in countries that have been selected based upon need, and the ease of entry into the country by surgeons abroad as well as the delivery of orthopedic implants to these sites. We typically provide service to one community 3 times annually to maximize continuity of care. The team includes 5 orthopedic surgeons, two of whom will be local to that community. During the visits, all surgeons are responsible not only for patient care including surgical reconstruction of deformities, but also education of orthopedic surgeons in that country to maximize the potential for future care of patients with similar deformities.