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In-Kind Donations Make Knee Replacement Possible For Patients In Rural Mexico

At a time many Americans devote to counting their blessings, a group of underprivileged patients in Veracruz, Mexico are thankful to be regaining the most critical aspects of rural life – their mobility and livelihood.

In a hospital with a limited history of joint replacement surgeries, 12 patients experienced the spirit of giving firsthand through in-kind donations from orthopaedic surgeons and staff representing the Walk Strong Foundation and Gainesville, Fla.-based medical device manufacturer, Exactech. This was the third of 20 planned trips to the Regional Specialty Hospital of Veracruz over a 10-year period.

“Many medical mission trips are doing great work, but oftentimes they are a one-time trip,” said Michael J. Christie, MD, orthopaedic surgeon and co-founder of Walk Strong. “We see many opportunities to elevate the standard of care and provide continuing benefits to community residents and medical care providers; our goal is to make a lasting impact.”

Exactech donated its Optetrak® total knee implants and instruments for the medical mission. Built on a design history spanning more than three decades, the Optetrak implant system offers comprehensive solutions to total knee replacement, including special options like constrained components and stems, which help address complex cases.

“The Veracruz Mission is aligned with Exactech’s global commitment to medical education and advancing the quality of care to patients around the world,” said David Petty, president of Exactech. “It’s our core purpose to help people maintain their activity and independence. We are proud to be a part of this mission and to extend our purpose by helping indigent patients in Veracruz.”

In each weeklong trip, the surgical team has been able to perform anywhere from nine to 22 knee replacement surgeries, present daily lectures for the hospital staff and residents and conduct patient care training for the families. Project C.U.R.E., a non-profit organization that works with recipient partner organizations to donate medical supplies and equipment to hospitals in more than 120 developing countries, helped deliver all of the necessary supplies and equipment for the trip.

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