Skip to main content


By February 25, 2022November 17th, 2022Food for thought
stss logo - CLEAR

November 30, 2021, San Antonio, TX – The holidays are fast approaching and many of us are already planning to step into the season with celebration and time with friends and family in mind. There are gifts to be wrapped, decorations to be hung and special occasions to be safely held in the weeks ahead. But for many Americans who suffer from debilitating hip or knee pain, stepping into the season may prove impossible.

Participating in daily activities – whether lifting a child, taking a walk, enjoying exercise or navigating work responsibilities where mobility is involved – may be mentally and physically overwhelming for those suffering from end-stage arthritis. And even if hip or knee surgery is an option, many patients may have not access to it and feel helpless and without options.
Now in its eleventh year, Operation Walk USA takes place each December as a humanitarian effort.

The program provides every element of treatment ─ surgery, hospitalization, and pre-and post-operative care ─ at no cost to patients who may not qualify for government health coverage, have insurance or be able to afford surgery on their own. According to the Centers for Disease Control , nearly 23 percent of adults – or more than 54 million people suffer from arthritis. By 2040 that is expected to climb to 26 percent or 78 million of us.

Arthritic disease is the most common cause of disability in the U.S., with the debilitating end stages of hip or knee degenerative disease making any movement or activity exceedingly difficult and near impossible.

“We are so glad to offer the services of Operation Walk USA again this year and especially since the program was on hiatus last year due to the pandemic. Our orthopaedic community is so eager to help restore patient mobility and the quality of life they once enjoyed,” says New Albany, Ohio orthopaedic surgeon Adolph V. Lombardi, Jr., MD, president and co-founder of Operation Walk USA. “We are inspired by the remarkable success stories of our patients and recognize the tremendous efforts of all those who volunteer to make this program so impactful.”

“Operation Walk USA is an annual tradition for us and a way for orthopaedic surgeons, their staff, and hospitals to give back to those patients who need it most,” stated Dr. Amanda Marshall- Rodriguez. “The best gift we can give is a new lease on life by providing the gift of mobility. This is a true collaborative effort and we are indebted to all those who volunteer their services.”

Operation Walk USA began in 2010 following the tremendous success of Operation Walk, an international volunteer medical service organization that provides treatment for patients with arthritis and joint conditions in developing countries. To date, 802 patients received help through Operation Walk USA, held in the month of December, annually since 2010. Since its inception, Operation Walk USA has provided knee and hip replacement surgeries valued at more than $21.6 million. Device manufacturers DePuy Synthes, DJO, Medacta, Smith & Nephew, Stryker, Total Joint Orthopedics, and Zimmer Biomet are donating the hip and knee implants for the 2021 Operation Walk USA.

Operation Walk USA 2021 facts:
 Operation Walk USA 2021 will be held at 18 hospitals throughout the country, November
29 – December 4.
 An estimated 20 orthopaedic surgeons will provide hip and joint replacements, free of
charge, to 21 patients nationwide.
 Operation Walk USA 2021 is based on the successful experiences of Operation Walk, which
has provided hip and knee replacements to thousands of patients throughout the world since
 This is the eleventh year for Operation Walk USA, which has provided free total joint
replacement to 802 patients to date and surgeries valued at more than $21.6 million.
 To find a list of participating orthopaedic surgeons and cities, visit
or follow Operation Walk USA 2021 on Facebook . Operation Walk 2021

About South Texas Spine & Surgical Hospital Surgery Partners has partnered with local physicians to establish South Texas Spine & Surgical Hospital (STSSH).  In this partnership, the physicians assist in management of the hospital, resulting in a hospital solely run for the benefit of the patient. This innovative approach creates an integrated and holistic approach to healthcare. As a nationally recognized center for spine and joint care excellence, STSSH takes pride in providing the highest quality clinical care in a one-on-one, warm and caring environment. STSSH is a BlueCross BlueShield of Texas Blue Distinction® Center+ in spine surgery and Optum® Center of Excellence in spine and orthopedic surgery. For additional information, please visit , follow us on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or like us on Facebook.