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Tampa Bay Orthopaedic Surgeons Conduct 25 free hip and knee replacements for those who can’t afford them

TAMPA, Fla. (Saturday, January 6, 2024) -- As part of a nationwide effort to help patients with debilitating joint conditions improve their quality of life, AdventHealth Carrollwood, Florida Orthopaedic Institute and Pioneer Medical Foundation joined forces for a third year to provide 25 Tampa Bay area patients who may not qualify for government health coverage, have insurance or be able to afford surgery on their own with free hip and knee replacements.

Dr. Brian Palumbo Performs Operation Walk USA Surgeries
More than 170 clinical staff members from AdventHealth volunteered their time to take part in the surgeries.

All 25 free hip and knee surgeries are took place on, Saturday, January 6, 2024, beginning at 5:30 AM and ended around 9 PM at AdventHealth Carrollwood.

The hospitals conducted these procedures in collaboration with Operation Walk USA, the humanitarian organization, now in its 13th year, that works with participating hospitals around the country. The program takes place each December and early January as a way for orthopaedic surgeons to give back to the community and help patients gain the mobility and quality of life they once enjoyed.

To date, the program has provided free joint replacements – including surgery, hospitalization and pre-and post-operative care -- for 866 patients and surgeries valued at more than $23.3 million.

Dr. Brian Palumbo Performs Operation Walk USA Surgeries
Dr. Brian Palumbo performs a joint replacement surgery at AdventHealth Carrollwood as a part of Operation Walk USA.

“As an orthopaedic surgeon, it's an honor to collaborate with dedicated health care organizations and Operation Walk USA, providing life-changing joint replacements to those in need,” said Brian T. Palumbo, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon with AdventHealth Carrollwood and Florida Orthopaedic Institute who performed dozens of free surgeries today. “Witnessing the transformation in patients' mobility and quality of life reaffirms the impact of collective humanitarian efforts."

"At Pioneer Medical Foundation, we are committed to fostering health care accessibility,” said Ano Kashumba, APRN-C CLSSGB CCRN, who serves as the executive director of Pioneer Medical Foundation. “Collaborating in initiatives like Operation Walk USA, we work to offer hope and relief to people facing joint conditions, empowering them to regain their independence and vitality through these essential surgeries."

“Operation Walk USA continues to partner with leading healthcare organizations including AdventHealth Carrollwood, Florida Orthopedic Institute and the Pioneer Medical Foundation to help patients return to mobility and a quality of life they once enjoyed. We are so appreciative of the orthopaedic surgeons, their staff and volunteers along with the device manufacturers who donate product to make these joint replacement surgeries possible and champion the mission of our organization,” said Operation Walk USA President and Co-Founder Adolph V. Lombardi, Jr., MD.

Chris Robinson and Lori Roth prepare to meet with their surgeons a few weeks before surgery.
Chris Robinson and Lori Roth prepare to meet with their surgeons a few weeks prior to their surgeries at AdventHealth Carrollwood.

Chris Robinson, 57, is a Tampa resident who underwent a successful right hip joint replacement on Saturday morning after more than 20 years of debilitating pain. He worked in the restaurant industry and later as an umpire at high school and amateur baseball games around the country until he couldn’t work anymore. Chris hopes to have his left hip replaced in 2024.

Lori Roth, 56, is an Orlando resident who had a left hip joint replacement early Saturday morning. Roth needed the surgery after an auto accident that left her in excruciating pain. She had her right hip replaced last year through this humanitarian effort.

This year, an estimated 50 surgeries will take place across the country at 20 hospitals, including AdventHealth Carrollwood, with an estimated 25 orthopaedic surgeons dedicating their time and expertise.

Websites: please visit or follow Operation Walk USA 2023 on Facebook.

Device manufacturers: DePuy Synthes, DJO, Smith + Nephew, Stryker, Total Joint Orthopedics and Zimmer Biomet are donating hip and knee implants for 2023 Operation Walk USA