I became an orthopaedic surgeon because...
When I was a young boy, my pediatrician inspired me to become a physician. When I became a freshman in high school, I had the privilege to serve as an alternate Ballboy for a NBA Basketball team, the Buffalo Braves (currently the Los Angeles Clippers). When called upon, I had the chance to assist the training staff in caring for those NBA players. When I wasn’t working, the players would give me their tickets and allow me to watch the NBA basketball games with their families. I was also able to get to know the players and their families very well and they sort of adopted me and treated me like their little brother. When the players developed injuries that kept them from playing, I had the chance to spend more time with them on the court side and I would watch the games with them and discuss the impact of their injuries on their lives. I remember becoming inspired by NBA Hall of Famer Nate Archibald who was traded to the Buffalo Braves that year. Nate tore his Achilles’ tendon during a preseason game. As he watched the games with me, and talked with me on the sidelines of the NBA games that I wasn’t working as an Alternate Ballboy, I felt helpless that I couldn’t do more to help him get back to playing the game that he loved playing. I wanted him to help my Buffalo Braves team win games. Through the friendships that I developed with these athletes, I became inspired to become the kind of physician that helped athletes get back to doing the things that they loved most. Once I learned that orthopaedic surgeons were the specialists that were responsible for fixing musculoskeletal injuries like Nate’s Achilles’ tendon, I knew then that I wanted to become an orthopaedic surgeon so that I could care for athletes like Nate.
What is the most rewarding part of being an orthopaedic surgeon?
I am honored and blessed to have the privilege of being an orthopaedic surgeon in the greatest country in the world. I have the opportunity to treat musculoskeletal conditions everyday. I love to fix shoulder and knee injuries in athletes and weekend warriors. It is a great feeling to get one of my injured patients back to doing the things that they were capable of doing prior to their injuries with minimally invasive arthroscopic orthopaedic surgical procedures.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I enjoy running, traveling,going to the theatre/concert and spending time with my family. My wife Cassandra and my children Jazz, Jordan and Jasmine all have been trained in karate. It has been great cheering them on as they completed their blue belts to black belts. I love going to shows and concerts with my wife and sporting events with my whole family. There is nothing like bonding with my family as all of us travel together all over this great nation. It is rewarding to watch my two sons play baseball, basketball, and track. I have enjoyed watching my daughter play the clarinet for her school band with her twin brother who plays the saxophone and observe her singing in the school choir with her older brother who is a former drummer. Spending quality time with my youngest son while he performs during his robotics competition is an exciting experience for me and my wife. I am blessed to have been given the opportunity to be one an orthopaedic surgeon and to have a life that affords me the time and opportunity to spend quality time with my family when I’m not caring for my community.
In what volunteer activities or efforts do you engage that mean the most to you and those you serve?
I have enjoyed volunteering as an orthopaedic surgeon on the sidelines of my 3 local high school football teams’ weekly football games, court side for our local professional and college basketball teams’ basketball games or ringside for my state’s professional boxing and MMA matches. I have enjoyed serving and volunteering my time to my profession as President of my State and Regional Orthopaedic Societies. I enjoyed volunteering my time to my community as the President and Chairman of the Foundation Board of Directors of my Local University. I have enjoyed serving my local medical community hospital as Chief of Surgery, Chairman of the Board of Directors of our local Surgical Center, and Admissions Board member for my Regional Medical School.
Ortho-pinions by Dr. Wayne Johnson
- I had a total knee replacement surgery three months ago, and worked extremely hard on my physical therapy but I’m still having a lot of pain. Is it common to experience pain while the knee is continuing to heal?
- Is it possible for a hairline fracture (also known as a stress fracture) not show up on an x-ray?
- Can any amount of shoulder surgery return me to a life of competitive swimming?
- I’ve been an A-level tennis player for 30 years–half my life. How long should I continue physical therapy for a labral tear of right hip and stage 3 arthritis in same hip before I consider my surgical options?
- How long does it typically take for a spur to grow back after surgery?
- What are the differences between total versus partial joint replacement surgeries?
- Are plates and screws ever removed?
- Does ligament damage due to age show up on x-rays?
- What is arthritis?