Orthopedics is the branch of medicine dealing with the skeletal system. Orthopedic surgery may range from hand reconstruction to full joint replacements such as knees and hips. The orthopedic surgeon is also skilled at using foreign materials such as pins and screws to hold bones to their proper alignment. With members of the ‘Baby Boomer’ generation now reaching their mid 60’s, the need for orthopedic surgery in North America is rising dramatically, especially with the large number of uninsured in the United States and with long wait times in Canada which can reach several years. Traveling for knee replacements, hip replacements, and hip resurfacing procedures is one of the most common areas of medical travel.
Orthopedic Surgery and The Medical Tourist
Don’t miss the presentation of the hour long documentary Angels Overseas, produced by The Medical Tourism Association. It can be viewed in our blog and is the story of an American who travels to Costa Rica for a double knee replacement and saves $80,000, all while receiving first rate, personalized care by an English speaking doctor! There are several factors which may make a person travel for orthopedic surgery, including:
- A Desire To Save Money Often you do not have insurance or your insurance does not cover orthopedic surgery so would have to pay out-of-pocket anyways. Savings of up to 80% can be achieved by visiting state-of-the-art facilities abroad.
- High Quality Countries like Mexico (Puerto Vallarta) and Costa Rica are very well known for the large number of orthopedic procedures completed and the quality of the work. As with anywhere, including at home, it is important to choose a facility that specializes in orthopedic care.
- Long Wait Times For Orthopedic Surgery In Canada, orthopedic surgery is publicly funded, but unfortunately wait times average between 2 – 3 years for some procedures, diminishing quality of life.