Operation Walk Boston 2014: Day 3

Another day in Santo Domingo has come to an end, concluding with 12 patients having undergone a total of 17 joint replacements today.  On account of meticulous planning by the Op Walk team (see photo of Dr. Thornhill, Carl, Paul, and Roya below), each of the 3 cases in our 4 operating rooms ran smoothly today.  Almost all of the operations here are performed under a spinal and/or epidural anesthetic by our skilled anesthesia team, and within minutes of the completion of each operation the patient is taken to the PACU (recovery room) to be cared for by our nurses prior to being transferred to the floor.

Dr. Thornhill, Paul, Carl, and Roya plan out the OR schedule for the next day.


Steve, one of our phenomenal team members who ensures that the equipment will be ready for each case, organizes supplies in the cargo room.


Our morning began on the wards by 6:30 AM, with 3 teams composed of nurses, physical therapists, American and Dominican medical students, and physicians rounding on each of our patients.  Rounds are run in much the same way that we approach them at home, with each patient being presented by the nursing team and overnight staff prior to examining the patient and coming up with a plan for the day. 

BWH Rheumatologist Dr. Jeffrey Katz presents x-ray findings on morning rounds to the team, which includes both American and Dominican physicians, medical students, nurses, and physical therapists.



Dr. John Ready and physical therapist Carolyn Beagan greet a patient on rounds.

Jill (Left) and Ellen examine a patient in the morning on ward rounds.


After rounds, the surgical team heads straight to the OR to get the day's cases started by around 7:30 AM.  Meanwhile, the physical therapy and nursing teams remain on the wards to begin the process of mobilizing the patients out of bed and getting started on walking after their total knee or hip replacements.  



OR schedule for the day.

Dr. Fitz and Carl discuss post-operative plans for a patient.

Josh from Depuy Synthes, the company responsible for donating all the knee and hip replacement implants and equipment for Operation Walk Boston, looks at the inventory for the day's cases.
Of particular excitement today was the opportunity to see how well our patients who underwent hip or knee replacement 2 days ago are now progressing with Physical Therapy.  Patients begin standing and walking on the day after surgery, and by the second day after surgery their progress is remarkable.  To see patients who came into clinic on Thursday in a wheelchair because they had been unable to walk for years due to pain now able to ambulate on their own with a walker or crutches is both fascinating and incredibly rewarding.


Physical therapists Jill and Carolyn start out with exercises in bed prior to...

...heading out for a walk through the halls with a team of encouraging onlookers.

Annie accompanies a patient through the halls after her total knee replacement.

Dr. Alcantara, who along with Dr. Gomez will care for the patients of Operation Walk Boston in the coming weeks and months, joins a patient on a walk around the wards.

Tomorrow brings with it another full day of surgery, physical therapy, and recovery for the patients of Operation Walk 2014.  We look forward to sharing some of our images and stories from the day with you, and thank you for taking the time to check in on our progress.

Lauren