Operation Arthroscopy is a 501(C)3 non-profit foundation founded by Dr. William Stetson, an orthopedic surgeon from Burbank, California and his wife Erica Stetson. The foundation was inspired by the lifetime work of Dr. John Feagin, a retired orthopedic surgeon from Jackson Hole Wyoming and Duke University and his dedication to global orthopaedics. Dr. Feagin passed away in 2019 but his spirit and mentorship continues on in the work of Operation Arthroscopy and Dr. Stetson.
The project began in 2003 following Dr. Feagin and Dr. Stetson’s visit to Cuba. Inspired by the Cuban peoples' hospitality and quest for knowledge, both doctors committed themselves to help train their Cuban colleagues in arthroscopic techniques and donate the equipment that would allow them to continue practicing these methods. In honor of their love for humanity and arthroscopy, their goal was to build bridges and foster a better understanding between our colleagues in developing countries while working to improve their quality of life.
In 2004, Dr. Stetson and Erica, with a team of five doctors from the United States and Canada traveled to Cuba and presented two seminars on shoulder arthroscopy and performed the first ever shoulder arthroscopy in Havana, Cuba for their Cuban colleagues.
With the help of many generous volunteers, two centers of arthroscopy were established in Cuba, one in Havana and the other in Ciego de Avila. The following year with the help and sponsorship of the International Society of Orthopedic Surgery and Traumatology (SICOT), headquartered in Belgium, 45 doctors and allied healthcare professionals from the United States, Canada, and Europe traveled to Cuba for an international orthopedic and arthroscopy exchange.
In the following years and up until this day, with the help of Dr. Edward Buess and Dr. Peter Buess of Switzerland and other European, Canadian and US colleagues, Operation Arthroscopy continues to return to Cuba to carry forth its mission. The arthroscopy course in Ciego de Avila is now in its 15th year.
Operation Arthroscopy has also expanded to other countries including Vietnam, Peru, Kenya, Costa Rica, and Romania. With the help and dedication of volunteers, Operation Arthroscopy continues its mission of “bringing orthopedics and arthroscopy to those in need”.
John Feagin, MD (left), Rodrigo Lorenzo Cambras, MD (middle) and William Stetson, MD (right) at the Cuban International Congress for Orthopaedics and Traumatology in 2004.