established the INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION OF RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY (IFRS) – A coalition of medical professionals and global volunteers whose goal is to help patients around the world get the reconstructive surgery they need. The mission of the IFRS is two-fold: Uniting surgeons and philanthropists with patients in need of reconstructive surgery, while at the same time enabling surgeons around the world to share best practices to raise the global standard of care for foot & ankle surgery. IFRS is a Gerogia-based non-profit organization supported by corporate and private sponsors who provide medical hardware, supplies and financial assistance.

Honduras 2011In association with Mary our Queen Catholic Church of Atlanta, the International Institute of Foot and Ankle Surgery (IIFAS) and the International Foundation of Reconstructive Surgery (IFRS), 55 volunteers traveled to Comayagua, Honduras for a week long (July 24-31) surgical / medical and infrastructural rehab mission trip. The group’s arrival to the San Pedro Sula, Honduras Airport was followed by a 4-hour bus ride to the town of Comayagua, Honduras. The surgical / medical mission work was concentrated at the St. Benedict Joseph Medical Center, a small catholic surgical and healthcare facility, which had been established and maintained by the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal and Light of the World Charities since 2004.

The medical team consisted of 25 medical volunteers from the United States, Venezuela, and Honduras and was comprised of a variety of specialties including dentistry, orthopedics, plastics, and podiatry. Patient encounters began Monday morning starting at 7:00am where patients ranging in age from 2 months to 90 years were evaluated. Common pathology seen included cleft palates, unhealed fractures and severe arthritis, tendon contractures, and pediatric leg and foot deformities including bow legs (Blount’s Diseases), knock knees (Genu Valgum), clubfeet and flat feet, limb length discrepancies, bunions, lobster claw deformities, and a variety of soft tissue masses.

Patients were evaluated and treated in the clinic and those determined to be surgical candidates underwent corrective reconstructive procedures. In addition to the plastic and general orthopedic surgeries, roughly 30 patients underwent reconstructive foot and ankle procedures. In addition to performing surgery, the other purpose of the medical mission is to empower the local health care providers with both clinical and surgical knowledge in an effort to maintain a high standard of medical care in the area. The local physicians were trained on clubfoot casting and general treatment options in the clinic, as well as basic procedures in the operating room.

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