My name is Abby Navarro and I am 18 years old. I was born and raised in Lawton, Oklahoma and attended Lawton High School. I am currently a first year student studying Design at Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee. I played softball and basketball all throughout high school, along with traveling softball and AAU basketball. I began playing basketball in college but ultimately decided I would like to focus more on my school work. Now, I enjoy playing intramural basketball, intramural softball and working out daily.
I remember tearing my ACL like it was yesterday. It happened during the summer time while playing an AAU basketball game. I was an upcoming junior and felt more confident with my game than ever. My team was winning and there were only a few minutes left on the clock. I made a steal and had a fast break down the court. It was just me and another girl from the opposing team. I was dribbling down the court with my left hand and I felt the girl close behind me on my right shoulder. I attempted to crossover to my right hand and as soon as I did the girl was there to stop me. I had all my weight on my left leg and when I went to crossover we knocked shoulders. I felt my left knee buckle in, along with a pop and a fiery burn underneath my kneecap. I remember falling to the ground holding my knee. I opened my eyes to see my coaches, teammates and athletic trainers surrounding me. I was carried off to the side of the court where the athletic trainer performed many tests on my knee, confirming that I had torn my ACL and my meniscus.

My treatment and recovery

It was hard to believe that I actually severely injured my knee. I refused to believe that I would be out of basketball for 6-7 months. The seriousness of my injury did not fully hit me until the day of my surgery. I realized that in the one second it took to injure my knee, I would have to deal with the outcomes for the rest of my life. I was terrified and all I knew was that I was going to come back from this injury better than I was before. I put all my trust into Dr. Johnson and on June 27th, 2012 the biggest parts of my life were in his hands, and I couldn’t have picked a better person for that job. He cared for me not just as a patient, but a person, an athlete, and a daughter.

I was put in physical therapy the first week after my surgery, I remember getting to do more and more as each week came. I was on crutches for 3-4 weeks and that turned into walking without crutches with my brace, then starting to jog and jump, and finally being able to run again. I felt like a whole new person. I felt strong, and of course eager to get back on the court. The whole recovery process took about 6 or 7 months. I sat on the sidelines for half of my junior year and I’ll never forget my first game back. I was nervous but I could not have been happier in that moment. Dr. Johnson and the my physical therapist helped me get back to doing what I love and most importantly, getting my life back.


My tip for other patients would be to be patient with the recovery. It is long and tedious but it will only get better with time.

My Second First

Because of my orthopaedic care, I can play basketball again!


Share your patient story. How did orthopaedic care help you?


  1. Jennifer Navarro

    As Abby’s Mom, I went through her injury with her. I think I was more devastated than she was! I started Abby playing basketball when she was in 3rd grade. I lived vicariously through her, as basketball was a big part of my life growing up. I am a Surgical Technologist and work in the same facility as Dr. Wayne Johnson and I knew he was the Doctor I would choose. He is a perfectionist and very very good at what he does. The patient care my daughter experienced was exceptional and her recovery was difficult but well worth it! Her Physical Therapist Donna Willeford was bound and determined to get her back on the court and that is exactly what she did! A big Thank you to you Donna and to you Dr. Johnson for taking such great care of my daughter Abby!!!

  2. David Navarro

    I am the proud father of Abby Navarro. She has been good at everything she has done. She is just like her mother strong and very athletic. After her injury it devastated her. But the professional care she received from Dr. Wayne Johnson , the staff and Southwestern Medical Center out patient therapy got her back on track good as new.
    Love you Abby!!

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