Surgical Gaffe Has This Player in Two Casts

Associated Press

A surgical error has Wisconsin football player Robb Johnston hobbling on two fiberglass casts and has hospital officials red-faced.

Johnston, 21, underwent surgery June 13 to remove bone chips in his left foot. But when he woke up in the recovery room at the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison, Wis., he noticed bandages on his right foot.

“I couldn’t believe it,” said Johnston, who is supposed to be starting Badger safety. “I told the nurses that they did the wrong foot, and at first they didn’t believe me. They told the doctor (Dr. William Clancy) who had treated me during football season for my left ankle. I went back into the operating room and had surgery on my left foot.”

Clancy, the team physician, is taking full responsibility. He said someone inadvertently marked down the wrong foot, and X-rays showed an excess bone growth on the right heel as well as the left.


The mistake “bothered me a lot,” Clancy said. “I’ve been operating for 14 years and never had a screw-up like this.”

Johnston said: “My parents are pretty upset about it, especially my dad. He really doesn’t like surgery.

“It’s out of my hands now. I never had any problems with my right foot, but they said I had bone deposits on it. I won’t know if I did or not.”