Dr. Joshua Carothers, a surgeon with New Mexico Orthopaedic Associates (NMOA), recently returned from a mission trip to Honduras with a team of Albuquerque healthcare providers. The team arrived in Honduras on September 28 and in three days they performed fifteen (15) joint replacement surgeries for sixteen (16) adults living with debilitating arthritis.
Working with Dr. Carothers was NMOA physician assistant Tyler Jefferson, Lovelace Hospital nurse Amber Dobbins, and a representative of the orthopaedic device company Depuy, who donated the joint replacement hardware. The local caregivers donated their time and surgical expertise.
The Albuquerque team joined up with other medical professionals who were also volunteering their time and skills as part of a mission trip with Operation Walk based in Denver, Colorado. About fifty-five surgeons, physicians’ assistants, nurses, physical therapists, anesthesiologists, representatives from orthopaedic implant companies and medical doctors participated in the 2017 mission trip from September 29 – October 1. Altogether, the mission team provided 60 new joints to people that would otherwise never have the means to have their severe arthritis treated.
Altogether, the mission team provided 60 new joints to people that would otherwise never have the means to have their severe arthritis treated.
“We bring everything from the IV that the patients get when they enter the hospital to the bandage and home aids that they go home with including all the implants and instruments” said NMOA surgeon Joshua Carothers, M. D. “In addition to providing surgeries”, said Dr Carothers, “we spend time training the local doctors, nurses, and therapists.”
Operation Walk is a not-for-profit volunteer medical services organization that provides free surgical treatments for patients in developing countries and in the United States who suffer from debilitating bone and joint conditions, such as arthritis, and do not have access to medical care. Founded in 1994, Operation Walk teams have operated on hundreds of patients in Russia, Cuba, Nepal, China, the Philippines, Peru, Nicaragua, Mexico and the United States. Over 6,000 patients have received new knees and hips through the International Operation Walk organization since 1994.
“The intense, never-ending pain endured by the patients we treat makes conducting normal, productive lives difficult to impossible. Because of their inability to walk and provide for themselves, many lose their jobs, their families, and the ability to experience the basic joys of life. It’s a great feeling to be there and give a new beginning to people who do not have access to this kind of healthcare where they live.”
The week-long mission trips are designed to restore the gift of walking to as many people as possible, typically more than fifty patients while educating local healthcare workers in advanced surgical and rehabilitation procedures. “I have been working and traveling with the group to Panama and Honduras over the last 6 years,” said Dr. Carothers “and have been really proud to bring a team from Albuquerque that represents our city so well”.
About Dr. Carothers
NMOA surgeon Joshua Carothers focuses on total knee and hip replacements at the New Mexico Center for Joint Replacement Surgery, one of the Centers of Excellence at New Mexico Orthopaedic Associates. His Medical Degree is from the University Of Cincinnati College Of Medicine in 2002, where he graduated first in his class. He completed a five-year residency in orthopaedic surgery at Duke University Medical Center in 2007 and an adult reconstruction fellowship with Colorado Joint Replacement in Denver in 2008.
New Mexico Orthopaedic Associates
The independent physician group concentrates on the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal injuries and degenerative conditions. NMOA includes more than 30 physicians who provide both surgical and non-surgical treatment options for patients. The group’s comprehensive care model integrates the diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of orthopaedic, sports medicine and spine care within one practice. NMOA offers patients a choice of two clinic locations in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho. NMOA provides surgery in a physician-owned surgery center, physical and occupational therapy, X-ray and MRI, Quick Care Clinics and workplace injury care. NMOA has been serving patients for over thirty years.