September 3, 2018

Patient reflects on surgery 20 years ago

Bone and Soft Tissue Oncology | Patient Stories

At age 12, Frank Johnson hit a high fly ball during a baseball game when all of a sudden something abnormal caught his attention. Frank had felt extreme pain in his hip but somehow he still managed to hobble down to first base; shortly afterwards, he hobbled into OrthoIndy to see bone oncologist, Dr. Bruce Rougraff.

Frank, who is now in his 30s, had a bone cyst in the ball of his femur connected to his hip.

“Frank was part of a clinical study, testing a brand new technique where bone marrow and bone graft material is injected into the bone cyst,” said Dr. Rougraff. “He was the fifteenth patient treated with this new technique and we published our results in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery in 2002.”

Surgery as a child

Frank had surgery in middle school and was grateful that Dr. Rougraff fixed his issues.

“It was very scary for my parents as I later found out, I don’t remember how I felt emotionally, but I played sports year round and found that I couldn’t even walk,” said Frank as he reflects back on his experience from 20 years ago.

Frank visited several different doctors that did not know how to treat him properly until he finally arrived at OrthoIndy with Dr. Rougraff.

“Because of his participation in that study, and the excellent results with the procedure, this technique is routinely performed all over the world today,” said Dr. Rougraff.

The alternative procedure at the time would have involved steroids, but that would have led to a much longer road for Frank.

Life after surgery

After the procedure, Frank went on to run track and pole vault, play varsity basketball and play quarterback for his varsity football team. Later on, Frank went to Purdue University and received a bachelor’s degree in genetics and microbiology. Frank has been married for over 10 years now and has four children.

“I am not sure why I am just now reaching out, maybe it’s that I have my own children or something, but I wanted to let Dr. Rougraff know how much that surgery has meant for my physical quality of life,” Frank shared. “I am thankful that God put him in my life, if ever so briefly, to change it for the better. We all have different gifts and I am thankful for his.”

Frank feels great and has not had a problem with his hip since the procedure. “I would say as a parent, you want the best for your kids and if any of my children needed something done that Dr. Rougraff could perform, then I would want my children to go to him,” said Frank.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Rougraff please call 317.802.2824 or learn more about orthopedic oncology care.

Schedule an Appointment Call OrthoIndy 317.802.2000
Ashley McGovern

By Ashley McGovern

Ashley is the current PR coordinator for OrthoIndy. Ashley is responsible for all media relations functions and social media strategies. Ashley graduated from Purdue University in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and strategic communications with a certificate in entrepreneurship. She has been with OrthoIndy since then.

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