Anthony Carter, MD, FAAOS
One World Surgery
Dr. Anthony Carter of Hampton Roads Orthopaedics Spine & Sports Medicine traveled late last summer with One World Surgery to provide life-changing hip and knee replacements to patients in Honduras. Over four days, Dr. Carter, his surgery team and three other surgeons from the United States performed 44 procedures—changing the lives of the patients, their families and the community at large.
One World Surgery is an organization dedicated to providing high-quality surgical care to patients all over the world. The organization hosts several medical mission trips each year, focused on different areas, including primary care, orthopaedics, urology, gynecology, ENT care and more. Nothing is more rewarding to Dr. Carter than being able to change a person’s life—particularly those who do not have access to quality health care. Dr. Carter and his wife first teamed up with One World Surgery in 2019.
While Dr. Carter values his day-to-day work in Hampton Roads, he cherishes the time he gets with patients overseas.
“In the United States, we often take for granted how easy it is to receive the medical care that we need,” Dr. Carter explains. “In Honduras, many patients who have suffered an injury cannot receive care—whether due to the cost, geographic location or lack of medical professionals in their communities. Injuries to the hip and knee can be debilitating, limiting patients’ ability to work, care for their families and even walk. Many of the patients we served in Honduras with One World Surgery had been unable to walk for several years. It is incredibly rewarding and humbling to see how one procedure can instantly transform their life and to feel their gratitude and joy reflect back to you.”
Each patient and case is unique; however, one case in particular stuck out to Dr. Carter and his team. A woman in her 60s came to the One World Surgery team after a hip injury left her unable to walk. Her procedure began at 7 a.m. and by 11 a.m., she was able to walk out of the surgery center for the first time in four or five years.
Between unsafe drinking water, hazardous travel conditions and unreliable infrastructure, the trip came with many challenges that the team needed to overcome. At one point, the electricity went out and the backup generator failed while all three operating rooms were in use. The surgeons and their teams continued their procedures, using headlamps and iPhone flashlights to see in the dark.
“The field of orthopaedics is moving more and more towards AI and robotics,” said Dr. Carter. “And while these technologies are great and allow surgeons to complete procedures with unparalleled accuracy, they cannot replace the quality a good surgeon must possess: compassion. In Honduras, we work with the bare minimum supplies—you need compassion to build relationships with your patients and fellow surgeons. Those relationships are so incredibly rewarding.”
Dr. Carter is an orthopaedic surgeon at Hampton Roads Orthopaedics Spine & Sports Medicine in Newport News. For more information, visit oneworldsurgery.org.
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