People who have had hip or knee replacements, other orthopaedic surgery, or just want to meet new people and exercise are encouraged to attend Tauranga's Walk for Wishbone.

Walk for Wishbone is the Wishbone Orthopaedic Research Foundation of New Zealand's major fundraiser, to be held on May 19 at the Tauranga Domain.

People can choose to walk for 1km around the athletic track, or do the 5k walk around the domain, with stunning views over the inlet.

Tauranga-based orthopaedic surgeon Richard Keddell has been involved in nearly every walk since they began in 1995, including being national co-ordinator for many of them.


Keddell is a former president of the New Zealand Orthopaedic Association and is now on the Wishbone Orthopaedic Research Foundation, which distributes funds that support and advance orthopaedic surgery in New Zealand.

He said his patients love taking part in the walk.

"They're very enthusiastic about it. I've really encouraged them to do it because walking is so fundamental to a significant amount of orthopaedic work; often what we are doing is getting people to walk again," he said.

"There are usually a number of orthopaedic surgeons at the walk – people love catching up with their surgeon in a social environment."

Keddell said the spot-prizes also go down well.

"There might be a prize for the person who has had the longest lasting joint replacement, or the most recent one," he said.

"People appreciate the camaraderie that develops relative to the type of orthopaedic surgery they've had. There are also often displays of things such as new and old implants."

Walk for Wishbone raises money for orthopaedic research, which Keddell said is vital to continue to develop and trial new and better surgical and treatment approaches and techniques.


"New Zealand has always been a been great contributor to orthopaedic research; including joint replacements, trauma and other orthopaedic conditions," he said.

"We are well respected in the world for that."

His message to those who have had orthopaedic surgery, or who just might fancy doing something a bit different, is to give Walk for Wishbone a go.

"It's a great opportunity to show off the benefits you've had from orthopaedic surgery and an opportunity to support further research in orthopaedic surgery, but it's also a lot of fun," he said.

Funds raised go towards research into improving surgery and treatment for joint replacements reducing pain, broken bones, bone infections and cancers, congenital disorders and sports injuries.

Walk for Wishbone is supported by the New Zealand Rugby Foundation Inc.