Category: Knee Patient Stories

Nancy Harkey – Patient Story

Nancy Harkey is a kind, full-of-life individual who has always maintained a very active lifestyle. She was a cheerleader all throughout high school and college, and an aerobics instructor for many years. The end result of all those active years, spending countless hours using all of her major joints, ultimately led her to see a physician. Nancy needed some issues addressed in order to keep her at her best.

Several years ago, Nancy accompanied her aunt for a doctor’s appointment at The Orthopedic Center. Her aunt had injured herself in a fall and was in need of an orthopedic specialist. Dr. Mark Leberte was the orthopaedic specialist treating Nancy’s aunt, and her outcome couldn’t have been better. Once Nancy witnessed how successful Dr. Leberte’s treatment of her aunt was, she knew if she ever needed an orthopaedic specialist, Dr. Leberte would be the physician she would ask for.

Not too much time had passed before Nancy’s activity caught up with her and she needed care. She started to struggle with discomfort in her knees and hip. Even though Nancy knew she would certainly need to have these joints repaired, Dr. Leberte assured her that they would not perform surgery until it was absolutely necessary.  When there was no other option but to have surgery, Nancy had complete confidence that she was in good hands with Dr. Leberte. One moment that stood out for Nancy was how well Dr. Leberte worked his treatment around her diabetic condition, and how he treats any and all concerns someone might have when it comes to surgery and the recovery process.

Dr. Leberte performed surgery on Nancy and replaced both her right and left knee. Nancy recovered well, with no complications from either of her knee surgeries. Besides having her knees replaced, she also went through the procedure of having her right hip replaced. Even with three major joint replacements, Nancy has returned to her upbeat and active lifestyle.

Nancy explained that from the very first visit to the last check up, “Dr. Leberte and his team were extremely great. They provided such a positive and uplifting experience throughout their clinic. Dr. Leberte and his team have the ability to make you forget that you are even at a doctor’s appointment.” Nancy proudly expressed that “this group honestly makes you feel welcomed and shows just how much they truly care for their patients.”


Dr. Mark A. Leberte

Dr. Mark Leberte is a member of The Orthopaedic Center Trauma Team. He is board-certified in orthopaedic surgery. He provides expert care for patients with simple to severe musculoskeletal injuries and related complications such as hip and knee problems. Dr. Leberte offers advanced surgical procedures to preserve function and relieve pain in young and elderly patients. In addition to fracture care, Dr. Leberte provides general orthopaedic surgical care including joint replacement surgery.

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Haven Kirby – Patient Story

“I was terrified. I was scared I might lose my scholarship, nervous for what was ahead of me, but Dr. Stanford gave me the confidence I needed. He made me feel hopeful I would be 100% by the time I got here & I made it… I am here!” — Haven Kirby, patient of Dr. Stanford

Haven Kirby was an Elkmont High School student-athlete, enjoying what many say is the best school year of your life: her senior year.  So many exciting things had already transpired, but the highlight was when she was offered a softball scholarship to the University of North Alabama in Florence. She was looking so forward to taking that next step and bringing her softball career to the next level. She had verbally committed to the Lions, but not yet signed.

The date was November 13, 2019 and only 3 minutes into Haven’s first basketball game, something went wrong.  Haven was attempting a layup when her defender was going for a block and accidentally pushed Haven. Haven then fell on her right leg and heard a “pop”.  She had hyperextended her knee and could not get back up. She was in excruciating pain and knew something terrible had happened.  “The Ardmore Athletic Trainer was at our game that night, and helped me. I was terrified.”

The next day, Haven had an appointment with Dr. Eric Stanford.  An MRI was scheduled and revealed a gruesome injury.  Haven had torn her ACL to shreds, and torn her meniscus and MCL. Surgery was scheduled for November 22, the day before Thanksgiving.  That day couldn’t get here fast enough for Haven.  “I was in so much pain—it felt like the day of surgery was taking forever to get here!”

The surgery was a great success for both Haven and Dr. Stanford.  After completing four months of therapy, she was fully released in April to play sports.  Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic had come, along with several restrictions for Haven.  But she adjusted.  During the summer months, she eased back into travel softball to build stamina prior to starting at the University of North Alabama this fall. A little fun fact—Haven had verbally committed to UNA prior to her accident, but actually signed after her surgery. She credits Dr. Stanford for her great success.


Eric Stanford, DO | The Orthopaedic Center | Athens, ALDr. Eric Stanford is a member of the Athens TOC Sports Medicine team and is the team physician for many schools across Limestone County and Athens City.  He also specializes in the treatment of Joint Replacement, Regenerative Medicine and General Orthopaedics. Dr. Stanford brings his expertise and care to the TOC Athens, Rogersville and Winfield locations.

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Wheeler Dickerson – Patient Story

Wheeler Dickerson is your all-around competitive athlete who wants to see his team finish on top. His team, Lauderdale County High, was competing in the first round of football playoffs last fall against Sylvania when, during the third quarter, his knee rolled and popped in the middle of a tackle. Wheeler, feeling defeated and frustrated, came off the field and didn’t return for the rest of the game. The athletic trainer checked his knee. His knee didn’t feel loose; however, it was starting to swell.

Lauderdale County won the game that night, securing their spot in the second round of playoffs. Wheeler wasn’t going to miss this opportunity; he rallied and played in the next game. Unfortunately, Wheeler’s knee was no better.

During Wheeler’s freshman year of high school, he had a torn labrum that required surgery. Dr. Bill Lawrence performed this surgery and “did an amazing job,” according to Wheeler. “When I messed up my knee I knew I was going back to Dr. Lawrence because he had done so well with my shoulder.”

Wheeler immediately knew he would be paying Dr. Lawrence a visit after his knee injury. Dr. Lawrence ordered an MRI, where they learned Wheeler’s ACL was in fact torn.

Wheeler had the Allograft ACL reconstruction done in February. His surgery was very successful. After Wheeler’s surgery he completed physical therapy. He is back to playing football for his senior year and shooting for a football scholarship for college. He is hoping the make it to the playoffs again this year.

“Dr. Lawrence is such a good guy in general. He’s a good guy to talk to even when you don’t have an injury. He’s friendly, makes you feel comfortable, and takes care of you in general. I have had two surgeries with Dr. Lawrence—and will always recommend him.”


Bill Lawrence, DO | The Orthopaedic Center | Athens, AL

Dr. Bill Lawrence practices general orthopaedics and focuses his practice on Total Joint Replacement, Sports Medicine, and Hand Procedures. Dr. Lawrence is part of the TOC Athens Sports Medicine team.  He sees patients in Athens, Madison, and Florence.

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Dalton Barkley – Patient Story

TOC patient Dalton BarkleyIt was a cold February evening earlier this year when Dalton Barkley had a game he would never forget.   He was in his senior year playing basketball for the University of Alabama in Huntsville when his season was cut short by a serious knee injury.  UAH was on the road in Memphis, and toward the end of the first half, Dalton went up for a rebound.  He and the opponent jumped for the ball at the same time and collided.  The opposing player hit the outside of Dalton’s knee, causing his kneecap to pop out and then back into place.  Dalton was in so much pain. “I was panicking. I came off the court to the sideline. I was scared.”  The Athletic Trainers wrapped ice around his knee and Dalton rode the bus home. Dalton’s mom was familiar with the reputation Dr. Patrick Boyett had established and didn’t hesitate to make an appointment, as soon as possible.

When Dalton saw Dr. Boyett, an MRI revealed he had torn his Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) in his left knee and suffered a bone bruise. The game-plan? Rest, then surgery to repair the torn ligament in his knee.

Dr. Boyett and his team waited a month before scheduling Dalton’s surgery, in order to allow the bone bruise to heal.   Unfortunately, the COVID 19 pandemic hit, and surgery was postponed until May 7th. “It was a blessing in disguise. I was able to exercise for quad strength, etc. prior to surgery.”  Dalton’s Athletic Trainer gave him exercises to help prepare him and make him stronger for surgery.  “Because of the time I was able to focus on my strength.  My recovery process was amazing. The way Dr. Boyett performed my surgery was amazing.  I had minimal swelling. I am really happy with how everything turned out.” Dalton highly recommends Dr. Boyett for injury treatment and surgery—he had a wonderful experience from start to finish.

“Dr. Boyett is friendly, outgoing, and confident. He made me feel a lot better about the entire process – especially after finding out that the knee was torn. He explained to me what the timeline looked like and was very detail oriented. This is the first time I’ve had surgery besides my wisdom teeth; I was anxious and nervous, and Dr. Boyett calmed my nerves,” says Dalton.

Dalton graduated from the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) in May with a degree in Civil Engineering. He is currently working for Noah Basketball.


Patrick Boyett, D.O. | The Orthopaedic Center | Athens AL

Dr. Patrick Boyett is a member of the Athens TOC Sports Medicine team and is the team physician for many schools across Limestone County and Athens City.  He also specializes in the treatment of Hip, Knee and Shoulder conditions. Dr. Boyett brings his expertise and care to the TOC Athens location.

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Robert Lang – Patient Story

Robert has spent most of his life being active and involved.  Since he was five years old, he had spent most days playing soccer and swimming.  He had never had a serious injury until his junior year of high school. While at soccer practice participating in a drill called “keep away,” Robert reached for the ball.  As he turned, he twisted his right knee and immediately knew something was not right.

Robert’s mother, Angie, took him to see his pediatrician.  He recommended that Robert see Dr. Matt Smith, a sports medicine orthopaedic surgeon at TOC, because of his expertise in knee-related injuries and conditions.  Angie scheduled an appointment with Dr. Smith the following week, at which point Dr. Smith ordered an MRI.  It confirmed that Robert did indeed have an ACL tear in his right knee.

Dr. Smith explained to Robert what the MRI had revealed and that he would need surgery to repair the torn ligament.  On June 11th, 2020, Robert had ACL surgery. “It was a straightforward process, and Dr. Smith and his team were great! They thoroughly explained and guided us through the process,” said Angie, Robert’s mom.

Despite being nervous about his sports future, Robert was comfortable with Dr. Smith from the beginning. The family loved how Dr. Smith and his team were so great, every step of the way. The team made themselves available to answer any questions or concerns the family had during Robert’s recovery journey.

Now, a little over three months later, Robert has been cleared to swim and play soccer.  He just swam in his first meet since his surgery, completing his first 100-yard butterfly event.  He did great and is back to swimming with no pain. He’s expected to be cleared for his senior year of soccer in the spring of 2021.

“We would unquestionably recommend TOC – The Orthopaedic Center to anyone facing any orthopaedic issue,” says Angie.

Robert is a senior this year at Albertville High School, and plans to go on a two-year mission trip once he graduates high school.


Dr. Matthew Smith, DO | The Orthopaedic Center | Guntersville, Boaz AL

Dr. Matthew Smith is a board certified orthopaedic surgeon with TOC – The Orthopaedic Center who completed his undergraduate studies at the University of South Alabama and then attended medical school at Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.  Afterwards, he completed his internship and residency in Orthopedic Surgery at Botsford General Hospital in Farmington Hills, Michigan.  His interests include sports medicine and joint replacement.  During his training he participated in the care of the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Lions, and Detroit Red Wings players.  He currently is involved with several local high school and community college athletic departments.

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We want our patients to know that you can feel safe when visiting a TOC clinic

Please read below so that you can be confident in our clinic procedure and additional safety measures.

In compliance with recent policy changes in counties that we serve, and to provide the safest possible environment for our patients, effective immediately, all patients and any guests who enter any TOC facilities will be required to wear a mask or face covering. In the event a patient does not have a mask, TOC will provide one. We appreciate your compliance with our mask policy. As always, TOC will continue to provide exceptional orthopaedic care to our current and future patients in the safest environment possible.

We look forward to taking care of you!