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Hip & knee surgeon Dr. Jesse E. Otero went into medicine to use his talent to help ease the pain of those suffering from illness. 

As a volunteer physician with Care Ring’s Physicians Reach Out (PRO) program, he assists individuals in our community without insurance so they no longer suffer.

Many of the PRO patients who come to him have had their conditions neglected for some time because of their lack of access to care. This scenario often makes their surgeries more technically challenging than those of other patients.

To Dr. Otero, the best part of his work is seeing his patients post-operatively and hearing them start to dream and plan for a future without pain for the first time in years. He finds taking care of patients in PRO very rewarding because many of them are so grateful for the care they’ve received. 

When asked how he got involved with PRO, Dr. Otero said, 

“Often, we think about mission work in terms of going to a third-world country and taking care of vulnerable patients there. What many don’t realize is that our poor in America are also, and often equally, in need of expert medical and surgical care. Participating in PRO allows me to share my gifts in order to serve those in need right here in my own community."

Patient Story: Pediatric Hip Replacement

Dr. Otero: "A teenager with sickle cell anemia suffered from avascular necrosis of both of his hips. The condition rendered him in pain and unable to walk, so he was at risk of losing his job. 

He came to me, and with the collaboration of his hematologist at Levine Children's Hospital, we successfully replaced both of his hips in one surgery. The same day, he was walking pain-free. 

It was absolutely incredible to see how relieved he was not only that surgery went well, but that he would now be able to do all of the things he had missed as a result of his hip condition."

About Care Ring's Physicians Reach Out (PRO)

Care Ring's Physicians Reach Out (PRO) is a network of volunteer providers donating free, comprehensive care for low-income, uninsured residents of Mecklenburg County since 2004.

OrthoCarolina has supported PRO since 2006, providing care to more than 4,000 patients during that time. We are proud to serve PRO and members of our community in need through volunteerism, donated services and financial support.

This article was produced with support from Care Ring.

Jesse E. Otero, MD, PhD, is a fellowship-trained hip & knee surgeon with the OrthoCarolina Hip & Knee Center and Periprosthetic Joint Infection Center.

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