Our team of surgeons, anesthesiologists, physicians, nurses, therapists, instrument processing staff and volunteers travelled to Ecuador from April 7-14th, 2016. The focus of this mission is management of developmental hip dysplasia in young adults with total hip replacements.
This condition occurs with a much higher frequency than in the Canadian population because of inadequate newborn screening and treatment, particularly in the rural communities. The result is that many individuals in this country between the ages of 20 and 40 are severely disabled by a hip that did not form properly in childhood. During the 8 day mission, we completed a total of 26 surgeries. This is the most that we have ever completed during a mission to Ecuador. The patients all did exceptionally well post op and are returning to normal activities after their initial rehabilitation. There are many more patients in Ecuador who need management and our team is already keen on planning next year’s mission.
In keeping with Operation Walk’s mandate to share knowledge, our surgical team was able to give a lecture at a medical school in Cuenca outlining the importance of early diagnosis and screening in newborns. Also, after the main mission team returned to Canada, a small team led by Dr Bourne stayed behind to travel to the rural areas and provide education on early diagnosis and treatment.