Active Physician Chooses Parkwest for Joint Replacement Surgeries

Dr. Ivie on left in blue shirt and Dr. Johnson on right in dark suit.
Dr. Clifford Johnson, right, visits with Dr. Conrad Ivie, who performed Dr. Johnson’s hip replacement and knee replacement surgeries.

An old high school knee injury pestered Clifford Johnson, MD, through a lifetime of hunting, farming and working as a physician in Knoxville.

“I’m an active bird hunter and have a farm, so I’m always walking and moving. I needed this knee to work for me,” Dr. Johnson, now 71, said. “I had developed a ‘valgus’ knee, where if you’re standing straight, the knee  bent  in at an angle. But I just kind of ‘hooked along’ with that knee pain for 48 or 49 years.”

Then on a trip to Italy in 2017, Dr. Johnson stepped off a curb and had severe pain in his left hip. When he got home, tests showed that the bony capsule of his hip had collapsed. “Basically my hip was shot,” he said. “So I needed a hip replacement right away, before the knee.”

Orthopedic surgeon Conrad B. Ivie, MD, performed Dr. Johnson’s total hip replacement at the Joint Replacement Center at Parkwest Medical Center in February 2018. Dr. Ivie used a minimally invasive, anterior (front) approach for the surgery.

“I liked the idea of the anterior approach to hip replacement because I didn’t want to take a whole lot of time off work,” said Dr. Johnson. “I spent one night in the hospital, did [physical] therapy and was back at work in two weeks.”

So when it came time for Dr. Johnson to have his right knee replaced in late 2018, he knew he wanted Dr. Ivie to do the procedure at Parkwest.

“I made it through hunting season last fall. Then at the end of October, I went back to see Dr.  Ivie, and we set up  a knee replacement for the first of November,” he said.

For both surgeries, Dr. Johnson attended the pre-operation information sessions provided by the Parkwest Joint Replacement Center.

“The classes are good. They give people an indication of what’s going to happen during their hospital stay. And there is a joint replacement book you get that tells you what  exercises to do a month or six weeks prior to surgery,” said Dr. Johnson. “I did them faithfully. “It’s very important to do these pre-surgery exercises so you’re stronger going into surgery.”

The knee replacement itself went just as smoothly as the hip, Dr. Johnson said. Dr. Ivie used robotic arm-assisted technology available at Parkwest for Dr. Johnson’s procedure. This advancement allows orthopedic surgeons to provide a customized experience based on the patient’s specific diagnosis and anatomy.

“I showed up at 5:30 that morning; the surgery was at 7 a.m. I was in my room by noon, and walking by 1 p.m.,” he said.

“When they first get you up to walk, you just have to walk down the hall and back. A couple of hours later they make you go up stairs, and then you sit in a car seat they have, with a seat belt, to make sure you can do it.

“I spent one night in the hospital. The nursing care was fabulous – nothing was dropped through the cracks. I took only two pain pills through the whole process.”

Dr. Johnson followed up with physical  therapy close to his home. “A knee  takes  a  little longer to  rehab  than  a hip,  so I went back to work a month after that,” he said. Today Dr. Johnson is back at work at his ear, nose and throat practice, and back to working on his farm in Grainger County. He said he would recommend Parkwest to anyone facing a joint replacement.

“I went bird hunting  in March, and I’m doing everything that I normally do. No complaints at all – my care at Parkwest Joint Replacement Center was excellent.”

Parkwest Joint Replacement Center

Maybe you suffer from chronic pain in your hips or knees. Or, you have arthritis or pain that interferes with daily activities like walking, exercise or work. If either of these situations hold you back from the things you enjoy, you may be a candidate for joint replacement surgery.

Parkwest’s Joint Replacement Center is the regional leader in total hip and knee replacements with advanced techniques, like minimally invasive and robotic-assisted procedures – all designed for faster recovery.

At Parkwest, our patients are an integral part of the care team. We offer pre-surgery classes that educate patients what to expect

before, during, and after surgery. Our program is supported by a joint care coordinator, and advising the oversight of the Joint Replacement Center are orthopedic surgeons Hal Cates and Brian Covino. Their decades of experience and dedication to our patients help us deliver outstanding results.

If you’re struggling with joint pain, talk with your physician about the Parkwest Joint Replacement Center. Need a physician? Call us today at (865) 374-PARK. You may also view a list of our credentialed orthopedic specialists at