Mandela Day: New hips, knees for 67 Worcester patients

2015-07-16 18:42

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Cape Town - Sixty-seven Worcester residents will benefit from knee and hip replacements after De Puy Synthes Companies donated arthroplasty implant sets worth R1.7m to the Worcester Hospital for Mandela Day.

This will reduce the waiting time for those in need of joint replacements by about three months, Worcester Hospital CEO Elbie Vosloo said at the handover on Thursday.

Although the government facility has a state-of-the-art and well-functioning orthopaedic department, it has a waiting list of more than 350 patients who require arthroplasty-related surgery, the health department said in a statement.

Assisted by the provincial health department’s current arthroplasty project, the facility has managed to bring the average waiting time down to two years by performing double the number of arthroplasty procedures that would normally occur within the available budget allocation. 

“Arthroplasty surgery specifically focuses on surgically reconstructing or replacing a joint.

"Based on the great need for this type of surgery, the Western Cape Government health department is thankful to the private sector, which forges such initiatives to effect positive change in the lives of the greater community,” she said. 

The operation costs R125 000 on average and, because of increased levels of unemployment and poverty in the region, many who require arthroplasty surgery are not able to afford the procedure.

The roll-out of the project will be conducted during the current financial year and the 67 recipients will be selected from the current orthopaedic surgery list.

Dr Theodore Franken, the head of the orthopaedics clinical unit at Worcester Hospital, said pain relief was the key benefit for any person who undergoes joint replacement surgery because the diseased cartilage and bone are removed.

“Other benefits include gains in functional activity, particularly mobility, as well as an overall improvement to the individual’s life.”

Read more on:    cape town  |  health  |  mandela day  |  good news

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