Dontrell's story: ACL injury

Friday, August 28, 2015

By: Betsy Hansen

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Dontrell Johnson has played football for as long as he can remember. And to say he has excelled at it is an understatement. He played football at Murray State University and now is a defensive back for the Green Bay Blizzard.


dontrells story header


Unfortunately during a game in June 2015, Dontrell experienced a devastating knee injury that forced him off the football field. While running to make a tackle, he felt someone shove him as he was trying to come to a halt. He heard a “pop” but shrugged it off.


“I’m used to getting banged up in football so I thought maybe it was nothing,” Dontrell added. But as he tried to get up, he knew immediately something was wrong.


Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jon Henry was on the sidelines and after a quick consultation he suggested it might be an ACL injury. After further examination, an ACL injury was confirmed, as well as a meniscus injury. Dr. Henry sent Dontrell to his colleague, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Harold J. Schock.


ACL surgery


Sports medicine specialist Dr. Schock had a common thread with Dontrell, he is also a high performance athlete. Dr. Schock played hockey at the University of Michigan, won a national championship and went on to play one year of professional hockey. Dontrell appreciated Dr. Schock’s experience as an athlete and as a surgeon. “He kept me pretty positive,” Dontrell said. “He had been through everything and told me it would turn out pretty good. I trusted him.”


“I would recommend them (fellow players) to come here. They got the best staff and physical therapy.”


Physical therapy


The first two to three weeks post-surgery were tough on Dontrell. Typically an on-the-go type of guy, sitting around and watching TV was not his thing. “You can’t just get up and do what you want to,” he added. But he knew the importance of following the recovery plan.


dontrells story therapy photo


Physical therapy was his saving grace. “I go three times a week. I actually look forward to going to physical therapy, just to see the improvement.”


At five weeks out, Dontrell began walking. Physical therapy has paid off and he continues to improve.


Going forward


Dontrell has every intention of continuing his dream. He will most likely be playing football in Australia next summer and be an active player with the Blizzard as soon as possible. “My ultimate goal is to get back to 100%. To get back to where my knee is able to withstand all the impact and be able to play football once again.”




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BayCare Clinic,, is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. BayCare Clinic offers expertise in more than 20 specialties, with more than 100 physicians serving in 16 area communities. BayCare Clinic is a joint partner in Aurora BayCare Medical Center, a 167-bed, full-service hospital. Follow BayCare Clinic on Facebook and Twitter.