Meaning of Life Comes around Full Circle-MoraMD

Steve A Mora MD

Orange County Knee Specialist

The Meaning of Life Comes Around Full Circle…As some of you know I recently returned from my medical mission in Ayacucho Peru. I go to Peru every couple of years to give to those that have the least in my eyes. I also go to Peru because it is the origin of my family roots and culture. I also go to Peru because I speak fluent Spanish so it’s easy for me to bond and understand their struggles.  

I saw a 14 yo boy in my clinic named Erick. He’s from Ayacucho Perú. He was hit by a car 4 years ago. He fractured the growth plate of the distal femur around the knee. As time went on his leg grew severely angulated. A local surgeon tried straightening the leg by cutting the bone and tried to get it to heal straight but it failed badly. The boy was not only left with a worse deformity but also with ugly scars throughout his leg. The picture shows his severe bowing and scars. 

This condition is difficult to treat because the solution is complex. It requires cutting the femur bone in the right place, angulating it just right and then holding it on place until it heals. Not too many doctors are capable of doing this surgery especially in Perú. Even in the US it’s hard to find an expert that can tackle this problem. 

This is were the story gets interesting

I personally know the #1 complex reconstructive Orthopedic surgeon in Peru. His name is Alfredo Aybar Sr. MD. How do I know him? Because when I lived in Perú and I was hit by a bus I also fractured my growth plate of the femur and I also developed an almost identical deformity. My leg deformity was actually worse. Dr Aybar helped me with my knee following my bus accident. When I moved to USA I received charity medical care at Shriners Hospital for Children in Los Angeles. I ended up having additional surgery to straighten out and lengthen my leg. My experience as a trauma patient eventually planted the seed in me to want to become an orthopedic surgeon. 

My accident in Peru was over 40 years ago. Dr Aybar is presently still practicing in Lima today. He has been a leader in the field of traumatic deformity treatment. We are now friends and colleagues. He has written the text book on this subject. 

So I got my cell phone out called my old friend and doctor Alfredo Aybar MD in Lima. I told him about Erick’s story and complex deformity   Dr Aybar said without hesitation that he will treat Erick free of charge. The patient just needs to get Lima. I gave Erick his contact info. I told them that I personally knew Dr Aybar. He and his mom were extremely happy. Prior to the visit with me Erick’s mom said he had lost all hope. When he left my clinic he left with a smile and with a plan. We took a few pics before they left.  As he walked away he said privately to me that his dream was to become an Orthopedic surgeon. I’m not kidding. 
And this is why life comes around full circle. When I was a young boy my legs were crushed.  I also received charity medical care.  If I had not I would have ended up in a wheelchair or worse. My experience led me on this path. I pay it forward. Erick is me 40 years ago with a similar problem. And like Dr Aybar and Shriners helped me I helped him. The circle of life. A real life example. 

Take a look at the pics. They are self explanatory. 

Varus deformity of leg due to growth plate fracture and later partial growth arrest. Attempt to surgically fix failed. 

The day I met him in my clinic. Trying to help him with exercises that will help to bend his knee further. Btw my knee is exactly the same. I cannot bend my knee more than 80 degrees. It’s one of my biggest physical problems I have to deal with. 

We have twin knees. 

Looking forward to getting follow up on Erick soon.   I hope with the help of Dr Aybar and myself we could positively change his life. Someday he may be paying it forward too. Will update as soon as I hear from him. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this story. I thought it was worth sharing. 

About Steve A. Mora MD:

Dr. Mora is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon at Restore Orthopedics and Spine Center in Orange County. 

He specializes in:

-Sports Trauma -Arthroscopy of the knee, shoulder, hip and elbow.

-Arthritis of the Knee

-Mixed Martial Arts Injuries

-First Responder Injuries

-Regenerative Medicine:Lipogems Stem Cells, PRP, Bone Marrow Concentrate 
For a consultation please call Restore Orthopedics and Spine Center in the City of Orange 714-332-5498