Helping those who suffer from

joint disease walk again

Our Work

Founded in 2005 by doctors David Stulberg and Victoria Brander, Operation Walk Chicago is a medical humanitarian that provides free hip and knee replacements surgeries

Founded in 2005 by doctors David Stulberg and Victoria Brander, Operation Walk Chicago is a medical humanitarian that provides free hip and knee replacements surgeries. We focus on sustainability through transferring skills and technology through education and program development. In addition to Nepal, Operation Walk has performed thousands of surgeries in China, Ecuador, India, Vietnam, and the United States.

The magnitude of Operation Walk Chicago’s major overseas projects is dramatic. In addition to performing 40-80 joint replacements per trip, we bring teams of 40-60 specialists, ship palettes of equipment and supplies, and teach scores of clinicians. Afterward these missions, for months and years, Operation Walk continues its educational partnerships and collaborative medical work, to insure we impart a lasting effect. The estimated value of the donated work & supplies we provide runs between $500K to $1.5M for each mission.   

Hip and knee replacement surgeries are considered the most effective orthopedic surgery available, transforming lives, reducing pain and returning patients to active, pain-free lives. However, because of equipment costs and complexity, these surgeries are expensive. In the U.S., average global fees for these surgeries are $50-80K. However, through the use of an extended network of dedicated volunteers and the generosity of industry (such as Stryker, which has supported Operation Walk since its inception), Operation Walk Chicago’s average cost per surgery is about $2300, which translates to a highly cost-effective intervention.  Operation Walk Chicago spends very little money on administrative overhead; every year, well over 94% of money raised goes directly into patient care.

Operation Walk Chicago commits to ongoing education and patient care in low-resource communities, to insure its contribution has a lasting effect. Each mission is customized to meet the needs of the host institution and country. To achieve these objectives, Operation Walk Chicago strives to use only the highest quality educators, administrators, clinicians and equipment. Operation Walk partners with in-country clinicians to develop a programs of arthritis care that is practical and sustainable.

The Need is Great

The mission of Operation Walk Chicago is to improve the quality of life of disadvantaged patients around the world through reducing disability from advanced joint disease

Imagine, you have developed arthritis of the hip or knee. At first, you push through the pain. Later, the pain becomes excruciating. You have pain with every step. Your leg feels like it will no longer support you. You are awakened every night with pain.  You start to walk slower and slower. You climb stairs with difficulty, can not stand for more than 10 minutes, and are increasingly unable to care for your family or work because of pain. Every step feels like a nail is being driven through your joint. You live in a poor community, where your inability to walk means you cannot work to elevate your family from the cycle of poverty. The future holds little promise for you because neither your doctor neither has the knowledge nor the tools to help you. You do not have the money to seek the medical care that you need. 

Then, you learn that a team of surgeons is coming to your city,, where they will spend over a week operating on people like you. Within a day of surgery you will walk for the first time in years taking the first steps towards a normal life. You laugh, your family, alongside your Operation Walk doctor, nurses and physical therapists, cry.

You are free of pain and once again able to work and help support your family, your village and your country.

See us in action

In addition to Nepal, Operation Walk has performed thousands of surgeries in China, Ecuador, India, Vietnam, and the United States.

Nepal Orthopedic Hospital & Earthquake Relief

Learn about Operation Walk's involvement with Nepal Orthopedic Hospital, during the Great Earthquakes

Arthritis is a leading cause of disability in the world

Medical Humanitarian Missions

Hanoi, Vietnam

Kathmandu, Nepal

Pune, India