Today was the final surgical day for Team Hope in Motion at The Obras Sociales Del Hermano Pedro Hospital in Antigua. A total of 14 cases were completed consisting of 5 knees, 3 hips, 4 foot and ankle cases and two general surgical cases. The team was functioning as a well-oiled machine, ready to finish the surgical day very strong.
As usual, the workout crew did a HIIT workout at 5:30 a.m. and during breakfast the volcano was booming, with smoke cascading into the sky. A clear sky during the morning walk revealed the surrounding volcanic geography while the bustling Antiguans went about their morning routine. Today the entrance of Obras was congested with local citizens seeking medical treatment and their friends and families providing comfort.
The knee cases were primaries today performed by Drs. Klaassen and Mike Berend and their surgical teams with the patients presenting with significant deformities due to the length of time they have lived with their arthritic knees. Dr. Keith Berend did three hips with one very small patient who exhibited dwarfism and one complex revision requiring a femoral implant extending close to their knee joint due to the extensive fixation required due to the bony destruction that occurred from years of a loose and painful hip implant being untreated. One of the cases treated by the foot and ankle surgeons included a patella fracture on a young soccer player. Dr. Isch also performed a hernia repair and one Lap Choli case.
On the hospital floor, the patients took turns walking and climbing stairs while supervised by the physical therapy team. Most of the Team HIM Physical Therapy team are very youthful looking and were receiving advice from some of the elderly patients on subjects like respecting their parents and their elders. Most of the patients had a family member or friend at their bedside who were patiently sitting with them while their bodies recovered from the surgery. Time after time patients described their anticipation and sometimes arduous journey they made to receive their implant or, corrective surgery, and how incredibly thankful they were for the work done by Team HIM to improve their lives so they could go back to a productive life.
At the end of the day, all the instruments and unused implants were packed up by the implant team. Special thanks to Zimmer Biomet for supplying the implants and instruments needed to perform a wide variety of sizes for primary and revision hip and knee procedures performed during the week. Also to Adam Griner, Will Mayfield and Keegan Fridblom from Zimmer Biomet for organizing the equipment during the week and getting the needed implants to the operating rooms at the right time.
One 17 year-old patient, Edwin, has had a very laborious gait his entire life because he could only touch his right foot down on his toes and his right knee was always bent at an angle. He has never been able to straighten out his right leg his entire life but has adapted a very convoluted way of getting around. Gavin Dozier found Edwin in his Guatemalan town on the Caribbean Coast that is an eight-hour journey to Antigua. Multiple corrections were made to his right leg including two muscle releases, an extension of his achilles tendon and also a muscle release on his left leg to improve his gait. Drs. Herbst and Knecht worked together in the operating room to treat these four different areas of his lower extremities to allow him to walk more normally. He has not been old enough, nor physically able to work, but now will be able to continue his schooling and pursue a career at a very early stage of his life.
Tomorrow, I will present one final patient profile and touch on various activities done by the team in the Antigua area before returning to their family and regular jobs back in the US.
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