For the third consecutive year, Keck Hospital of the University of Southern California (USC) gives the gift of mobility this holiday season by performing pro-bono hip replacements and post-operative care for seven Southern California orthopaedic patients as part of Operation Walk USA.

The Operation Walk USA program, held annually in December, provides comprehensive treatment — surgery, hospitalization, and pre- and post-operative care — at no cost to participating patients who may not qualify for government health coverage, have no insurance or cannot afford surgery on their own.

“Many people who desperately need joint replacements do not receive them because of financial constraints despite the fact that hip and knee replacement surgeries are among the most common and successful of orthopaedic surgeries,” said Keck Hospital of USC CEO Scott Evans, Pharm.D., M.H.A. “We are proud to offer our world-class surgeons and experts for those in need this holiday season.”

Through Operation Walk USA 2014, an estimated 120 patients nationwide will receive joint replacements cost-free from 85 volunteer orthopaedic surgeons and medical device manufacturers across the country. End-stage hip or knee degenerative disease often makes working, or completing even the simplest daily tasks, excruciatingly painful or impossible.

“Arthritic disease is the most common cause of disability in the United States, affecting one in five adults,” said Jay Lieberman, M.D., chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. “One of our faculty, Lawrence Dorr, was the founder of the Operation Walk international volunteer medical service and we are proud to partner in this effort in the United States to help individuals literally get back on their feet.”

Operation Walk USA began in 2010 following the tremendous success of Operation Walk, an international volunteer medical service organization established at USC in 1995 by Lawrence D. Dorr, M.D., Keck School of Medicine of USC professor of orthopaedic surgery and Operation Walk USA executive committee member. To date, more than 6,500 patients have received new knees and hips through the international Operation Walk, and nearly 500 patients through Operation Walk USA. Since 2010, Operation Walk USA knee and hip replacement surgeries and related care are valued at more than $13.2 million.

USC surgeons participating in this year’s program include Lawrence D. Dorr, M.D.; Paul Gilbert, M.D.; Jay Lieberman, M.D.; Donald Longjohn, M.D.; and Daniel Oakes, M.D.