Many patients come to Africa Surgery with a wide range of orthopedic issues, such as:
- club foot (a congenital deformity involving one or both feet);
- osteomyelitis (bone infection);
- hip problems;
- tuberculosis in the bones or joints;
In the case of club feet, Africa Surgery primarily relies on the services of Dr. Fritjof Schmidt-Hoensdon, a generous German volunteer surgeon who regularly visits Sierra Leone. His services are completely free for children, while Africa Surgery pays for hospital care and medications for adults.
Along with increased automobile traffic, Sierra Leone is experiencing more road accidents, which often result in injuries and infections leading to osteomyelitis. Tuberculosis and other types of infections can also lead to osteomyelitis or gangrene.
Last year alone, Africa Surgery reviewed 50 orthopedic cases and 27 hip problems. All were referred to international surgeon teams for medical and/or surgical treatment. Hip X-rays are routinely reviewed by a Joint Replacement Surgeon at FOCOS in the US, who selects suitable candidates for surgery in Ghana. There are no facilities for hip replacement surgery in Sierra Leone.
Although FOCOS professionals work for free, Africa Surgery still faces a charge of about $15,000 for each hip replacement patient treated in Ghana.