Operation Walk Maryland, established by Johns Hopkins orthopaedic surgeon Harpal “Paul” Khanuja, and his wife, Maria, a nurse practitioner at East Baltimore Medical Center, has provided free hip and knee replacement surgeries to poor patients in Ecuador, El Salvador, India and Peru since 2007.
In January, a team of 49 volunteers accomplished 59 joint replacement surgeries on 47 needy residents of Ludhiana, India. As chief of adult reconstruction for Johns Hopkins and director of orthopaedic surgery at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Khanuja expanded his existing team of Johns Hopkins Bayview clinicians to include physicians, nurses and technicians from The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Suburban Hospital and Johns Hopkins Community Physicians, as well as other area hospitals. All told, 21 Johns Hopkins employees participated in the 10-day trip.
The surgeries were performed at Dayanand Medical College & Hospital, where the Operation Walk Maryland team screened and operated on patients for the first three days and began to rehabilitate them over the following three days.
“At six weeks, all patients had been seen by our orthopaedic surgeon in India, and there were no issues,” Khanuja says. “These trips are an opportunity to really make an impact. We go there as a team and work together toward a common goal to offer excellent care. The patients are truly needy and are so appreciative of the help they receive. Our reward is sincere gratitude for our skills.”