Welcoming the Chance to Get Back to the Daily Grind

Patient David Chalker with Matthew Hepinstall, MD, orthopedic surgeon at Franklin Hospital

A special program helped make two hip replacements possible.

David Chalker, 50, had to stop working as a machinist because two arthritic hips made it impossible for him to get around and stand on his feet all day.

But with the help of Franklin Hospital staff and Operation Walk USA, Mr. Chalker received two free hip replacements in December and is on the mend.

“My main focus is to get back to work,” Mr. Chalker said. “I’m 50 and I have a lot of work ahead of me. I’ve been in pain for a long time, so I’m excited to finally be pain-free.”

Mr. Chalker’s surgery, as well as his pre-surgical and post-surgical care, were provided free of charge through Operation Walk USA. His surgery was performed by Matthew Hepinstall, MD, orthopedic surgeon at Franklin Hospital.

“It’s really a privilege to participate in this program,” Dr. Hepinstall said. “The most rewarding part of my job is seeing people who are suffering have an improvement in their quality of life and get back to the things they enjoy doing and need to do. When somebody has been suffering for a long time and hasn’t had access to the care they need, it’s really a blessing for me to be part of giving that care.”

Mr. Chalker, an Army veteran, also received care from the following providers: Franklin Hospital, North American Partners in Anesthesia, Orzac Center for Rehabilitation, North Shore-LIJ Home Care Network, and Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation Services (STARS).

Since Operation Walk USA started in 2010, it has helped almost 500 patients across the country recover from disabling arthritis. Giles R. Scuderi, MD, vice president of orthopedics for the North Shore-LIJ Health System and one of the founding members of Operation Walk USA, has performed surgeries on behalf of this medical humanitarian group during the past four years at Franklin Hospital.

“Operation Walk USA gives us a chance to give back to our community,” Dr. Scuderi said. “I want to make our services available to patients disabled by arthritic knees or hips who for financial reasons can’t get the benefit of a joint replacement. That’s why, with the help of my colleagues on the board and the founding members, we formed Operation Walk USA.”

In addition to getting back to work, Mr. Chalker is looking forward to riding a bike, which he hasn’t done in a few years. The father of three daughters is also looking forward to actively participating in possible future weddings.

For more information about Operation Walk USA, call Asha Jacob, DPT, at 516-256-6517.

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