About

Darren Johnson, MD, is a nationally recognized physician in the field of sports medicine, particularly in complex knee surgery, and has spent the past 25 years caring for orthopaedic patients at UK HealthCare.

Johnson received his bachelor’s degree from the combined University of California, Riverside and University of California, Los Angeles program in biomedical sciences before earning his medical degree from UCLA. After his orthopaedic residency at the University of Southern California, he completed a fellowship in sports medicine and shoulder surgery at the University of Pittsburgh under Dr. Freddie H. Fu.

He joined the UK faculty in 1993 and served as the chair of UK Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine from 2000 to 2018. In addition to his role as a professor, Johnson is also the head orthopaedic surgeon of UK Athletics.

The prevention and treatment of ACL injuries in athletes is one of Johnson’s primary interests. He also enjoys teaching other surgeons, so he travels to national and international meetings as an invited guest speaker on knee injuries.

Johnson has served on the board of directors of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, and he was the former president of Southern Orthopedic Association.

He has published more than 100 peer reviewed manuscripts as well as more than 30 book chapters and has edited two textbooks: Clinical Sports Medicine and Reconstructive Knee Surgery.

His outside interests include outdoor activities, particularly fly fishing, hunting, skiing and golf. He also enjoys spending time with his wife, Nancy, and their three children.

Personal Statement

In sports medicine we see a lot of high school and college kids who have an injury, and for the patient, it's like the end of the world. What’s going through their mind is, "I'll never be able to get back on the field.” We see them at their lowest point, we operate on them and go through the rehab process. When that player goes back on the field and back to doing what they love to do, you can't beat it. This is not a job to me. This is my calling.

Faculty Rank

  • Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • fixes empty view field issue
    Darren Johnson, MD - UK HealthCare
  • Awards & Recognitions

    Best Doctors in America

    The Best Doctors in America is an online resource developed by Best Doctors, Inc. Nationally, only about 5 percent of physicians qualify for this recognition, which is based on impartial peer review. The experts who are part of the Best Doctors in America database provide the most advanced medical expertise and knowledge to patients with serious conditions – often saving lives in the process by finding the right diagnosis and right treatment.

    Learn more at the Best Doctors website »

    16 Standout North American Sports Knee Surgeons

    In 2016, Dr. Johnson was ranked as one of the “16 Standout North American Sports Knee Surgeons” by the publication Orthopedics This Week.

Training & Education

Degree

University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine

Residency

University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles

Fellowship

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Certifications and Special Training

American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, Orthopaedic Sports Medicine

Insurance Information

Insurance policies can vary widely. Please check with your doctor/clinic for specific insurance information before your visit or procedure to avoid unexpected out-of-pocket costs.

See list of insurers

Patient Stories

Related News

Ratings & Reviews

4.77 out of 5
20 Reviews

The star rating is a calculation based on feedback from our patients using our nationally-recognized Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction Survey. Learn more about our survey process. Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best score.

  • Patient Review

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    Phenomenal

    Patient Review

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    Yesterday was not a good experience after we'd had so many positives. The surgeon was in the room maybe 2 minutes, didn't ask if we had any questions, and just walked out mid conversation. We left full of questions and confused on how little we really did find out compared to the previous visit.

    Patient Review

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    I strongly recommend UK Orthopedics and Sports Clinic to individuals needing orthopedic care or suffering from a sports injury.

    Patient Review

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    Excellent physician and team. Really appreciated how much care Dr. Johnson and his team had for my daughter. So supportive and explained things very well.

    Patient Review

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    Dr. Johnson is excellent and always gives personal care. Answers all my questions.
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      I have recommended
    • Patient Review

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      No issues
    • Patient Review

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      I received excellent care. Doctors are always concerned with my progress.
    • Patient Review

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      Dr. Johnson was able to identify an issue on my MRI that St. Joseph had missed. Being 32 years old, he recognized that I am young and active and want to fix the issue, not treat it. He was very thorough in explaining what needs to be done and why.
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      Dr. Johnson was very professional. Communication was excellent. Explanation was clear. Instructions were clear. Showed concern.
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      Dr. Darren Johnson was amazing, among the nurses a pre op waiting area thank you!
    • Patient Review

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      I have recommended Dr. Johnson to special friends
    • Patient Review

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      I honestly feel like the Dr. Was rushing out the door and didn't really care to grasp the understanding of my pain or cared. I left very disheartened!!! But I guess I'm use to it...I was just hoping that he would be different.
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      Very good
    • Patient Review

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      Dr.Johnson is amazing
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      I was and am very pleased with the friendly, kind treatment, I feel like they really care about the patients.
    • Patient Review

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      *Dr. Darren Johnson and his staff/team are top notch. I am very impressed with every aspect of UK Healthcare.
    • Patient Review

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      Dr Johnson is a ROCKSTAR in the Ortho world and now I know why!! He was phenomenal and I'm blessed he agreed to take me on. Super sensitive to my injuries and I feel confident my comeback story will happen because of him. Thank you!!!
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      Excellant doctor!
    • Patient Review

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      I received excellent care during my visit. Doctors gave me a good explanation of my progress, answered my questions and gave clear advice on what I should do at home.