March 18, 2019

Complex knee pain brings Ohio native to OrthoIndy

Knee | Patient Stories | Sports Injury


At only 19 years old, Johnny Levings was no stranger to knee pain. Five years earlier he had injured his knee while playing basketball and it had never felt the same. At the time, he was told he had a sprained MCL. He followed his doctor’s orders and stayed on crutches and used a brace until he was released from care.

Then in 2017, Johnny injured his knee again playing basketball. He just assumed something was torn again. Expecting to use crutches and a brace again for a period of time, he went to a local urgent care near his hometown in Ohio.

The urgent care facility took X-rays and provided him with crutches and a brace like Johnny expected. However, they recommended he visit his primary care doctor for a follow-up to determine next steps.

Johnny’s doctor visits were just getting started. His primary care doctor knew he needed to see an orthopedic specialist. He sent Johnny to an orthopedic practice in Columbus, Ohio.

After seeing two orthopedic specialists at the same practice, Johnny was told he had knee arthritis and would probably need a total knee replacement by the time he was 25. They also told him they weren’t able to fix the problem and recommended he visit OrthoIndy instead.

Johnny was in pain and needed answers. He was unable to participate in any of his normal activities including playing basketball and working. He made an appointment with OrthoIndy cartilage restoration specialist, Dr. Jack Farr.

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A diagnosis

After a four-hour drive one way to see Dr. Farr, it was determined that Johnny had knee arthritis, bone spurs and his knee was 16 degrees out of alignment. Dr. Farr knew he needed surgery, but he recommended Johnny see Dr. David Brokaw, an OrthoIndy orthopedic specialist who deals with complex injuries of the lower extremity.

Upon meeting with Dr. Brokaw, Johnny and his mom, Lori, immediately felt comforted.

“From our first meeting with Dr. Brokaw, we felt relieved. He was confident in his ability and made us feel at ease. Johnny was pumped after leaving the visit saying how much he liked Dr. Brokaw and how relieved he felt after talking to him,” said Lori.

Dr. Brokaw developed a plan that would help relieve Johnny’s knee pain.

Complex knee surgery

“Johnny had an osteotomy, which is a surgery to correct a malalignment. His femur was cut to remove a wedge of bone that allowed the sixteen-degree correction,” said Dr. Brokaw.

Confidently, he underwent surgery with Dr. Brokaw.

“This very stressful, nerve-racking situation was absolutely stress-free,” said Johnny. “From the person working on our FMLA paperwork, scheduling appointments, surgery, nurses, staff and finally Dr. Brokaw were warm, inviting and extremely helpful. Dr. Brokaw was very professional and confident. He made me feel that it was going to go off without a hitch and then it did.”

Johnny’s surgery was successful. Dr. Brokaw was able to correct his misalignment and clean up his bone spurs.

A return to normal

“Johnny’s surgical result was better than I ever anticipated,” said Dr. Brokaw. “He’s returned to normal function. We couldn’t be happier.”

Now, he is able to run, jump and play basketball again. Without any daily pain, Johnny also has no trouble working. He is currently attending college at Ohio State University and majoring in Agricultural Business.

“It was such a scary experience for our child to go into surgery, but OrthoIndy made it easy,” said Lori. “I cannot say one thing that I would change. Everyone was helpful and encouraging.”

As for Johnny, he has no regrets about the long car rides to visit OrthoIndy and Dr. Brokaw.

“I would recommend Dr. Brokaw to anyone who is in need of orthopedic surgery,” said Johnny. “Even if it is a four-hour trip one way!”

To make an appointment with Dr. Brokaw, please call 317.917.4388 or learn more about knee pain treatment at OrthoIndy.

Schedule an appointment

Your well-being is important to us. Click the button below or call us to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists. If your injury or condition is recent, you can walk right into one of our OrthoIndy Urgent Care locations for immediate care. For rehabilitation and physical therapy, no referral is needed to see one of our physical therapists.

Schedule an Appointment Call OrthoIndy 317.802.2000

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