Local Medical Group Takes Compassion and Orthopedic Care Overseas

October 31, 2012 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
Arizona Bone and Joint Specialists is a large orthopedic surgery practice with locations in Scottsdale and Phoenix. The practice is extraordinarily dedicated to serving their community as team physicians for local high schools and area teams, but recently, they took their service to another level in the Dominican Republic.

In conjunction with Arizona Dominican Medical Friends and supported by the Hospital Metropolitano de Santiago (HOMS) Foundation, Brad Bruns, M.D., Richard Martin, M.D., Lance McKay, PA-C, and Christopher Lang, PA-C joined several other physicians and medical professionals at the Hospital Metropolitano de Santiago in Santiago, a province of the Dominican Republic.

Expertise from surgeons like those at Arizona Bone and Joint Specialists is particularly needed in Santiago, as many do not have access to basic medical care. With this gap in available medical care, conditions and diseases that are often caught and treated early in the United States advance to degenerative states in the Dominican Republic. The orthopedics team from Arizona Bone and Joint Specialists were just one medical team during this particular mission trip; they were joined by plastic surgery, general surgery, and otorhinolaryngology (ENT, or ear, nose, and throat).

Drs. Martin and Bruns, along with McKay and Lang, performed 38 total knee and hip replacement surgeries over the course of five days. They were able to do this with the gracious donation of over 120 prostheses donated by Biomet. This was the 4th year in which Biomet has contributed to the cause, sending their Phoenix-based representative, Andy Worth, to assist in the cause. The medical team from Arizona Bone and Joint Specialists also worked closely with medical residents at the Hospital Metropolitano de Santiago to teach orthopedic techniques, advancements, and skills.

Over the course of the week, patients of all ages and pathologies were treated. The Arizona Bone and Joint Specialists team was warmly received by the people of Santiago, but the trip had a bigger impact on the team themselves.

"Our time spent in the Dominican was very inspirational," Martin says. "The Dominican people were so grateful and appreciative of our services, and the experience reaffirmed that we went into medicine for all the right reasons. There is no greater joy than helping and making a true difference in the life of a fellow human being."

There is a constant and ongoing need for surgeons from the United States to visit the Dominican Republic and similar places. The September, 2012 trip was Dr. Bruns' twelfth visit, and the entire team was able to participate in the celebration of the 10 year anniversary of the Dominican American Medical Friends Foundation. Dr. Bruns and several other physicians and medical staff were recognized for their years of service in the Dominican Republic.

An example of the ongoing need is how certain conditions put such an extreme limitation on individuals. In a stark contrast to the United States, the inability to walk is a complete and total disability in Santiago. There are no job opportunities for those who cannot walk, and because of that, these individuals will not have the chance to get married and help support a family, missing out on what is considered a normal life.

"One of our patients was a 16 year-old male who had a very degenerative hip, and for the past year he has walking with crutches," McKay explains. "Surgery for this young man was life altering. Because he is now able to walk, he'll be able to find employment and lead a happy and productive life. Being a part of these people's lives was a humbling and meaningful experience."

In replacing a joint - a fairly routine surgery in the United States - the Arizona Bone and Joint Specialists team were able to remarkably change someone's life.

For the complete Dominican Republic story and to view additional pictures, please visit the Arizona Bone and Joint Specialists blog at www.AZBone.com/blog

Arizona Bone and Joint Specialists, a division of the Orthopedic Specialists of North America (OSNA) was originally founded over twenty-five years ago and is comprised of seven award-winning orthopedic surgeons. Specializing in sports medicine, full joint replacement, surgical revisions, and minimally invasive orthopedic surgery, Arizona Bone and Joint Specialists offers patients accessibility and convenience combined with excellence in medicine. Arizona Bone and Joint Specialists offer two convenient Valley locations in Scottsdale and Phoenix. To make an appointment, call 602-493-9361. For more information, please visit www.AzBone.com