For two decades, the EMAS Ecuador team called Operation Esperanza has been changing lives in Ecuador. In January 2024, a team of over 40 volunteers—medical professionals and support personnel—will travel to the city of Cuenca to provide free orthopaedic surgery and medical care to poor Ecuadoreans who don’t have the financial means to access these services.
Operation Esperanza consists is an adult orthopaedic team that performs hip and knee replacement surgeries on adults with painful and often severely debilitating hip conditions. During a typical mission, 40 hip replacements are done. In addition to the surgeries, patients are provided with comprehensive perioperative medical care, physical therapy, and fitting for orthoses and gait aids. There are also physicians who perform joint injections and prescribe medications to alleviate suffering for patients that are not candidates for joint replacement surgery. Team members also strive to educate the local medical community and the public about best practices fpr both the treatment and prevention of orthopaedic conditions.
In 1997, Dr. Thomas H Greidanus, and a small nursing team, went on a short-term mission to Ecuador. Dr. Manuel Avila, a local doctor, kept asking Dr. Thomas H Greidanus if they could return -which he did the following year. Over the years, the team grew. A paediatric team and a dental team were added. For the past decade, there have been over 40-60 team members, including surgeons, anaesthetists, physiotherapists, nurses and general helpers. The team has returned to the same region in Ecuador every year since that time.
Help bring mobility to those who cannot afford hip or knee surgery in Ecuador:
• $500 will cover one quarter of the cost of a prosthesis
• $1000 will cover half the cost of a prosthesis
• $2000 will pay the full cost of a prosthesis