Our Patients Say it Best

Your friends and neighbors from throughout southwest Michigan and beyond share their experiences at Spectrum Health Lakeland. Do you have a story to share? Click on the "What's Your Story" button and complete the form. 

For the Love of the Game - Wil Korbel


Jul, 2018

Physicians: Joseph Farber, MDMukund Shah, MD

As a three-sport athlete, much of sixteen-year-old, Wil Korbel’s life was spent on a field or court. He actively played football, baseball, and basketball for his local high school and participated in travel leagues during the summer months. It was in the height of football season last fall, that his athletic career took a drastic turn.

“I went to block a tackle during a kick return and a player on the other team fell on my leg,” said Wil. “I heard a pop and felt pain right away and immediately knew something was wrong.”

Wil was taken out of the game and assessed by an athletic trainer on site. It was clear from the pain in his knee something wasn’t right, but it would require further tests to determine how much damage was done as a result of the hit. Since the game was on a Friday night, Wil spent the weekend resting and icing his leg. When the pain didn’t dissipate he decided it was time to visit his primary care provider, Mukund Shah, MD. Dr. Shah evaluated Wil’s knee and suggested he get an MRI.

After reviewing the test results, orthopedic surgeon, Joseph Farber, MD, was consulted and revealed to Wil that, as suspected, he had torn three major ligaments in his knee – the medial collateral ligament (MCL), the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), and the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

Together, these ligaments surround the knee and prevent the tibia from sliding in front of the femur as well as offer rotational stability to the joint. ACL injuries are one of the most common among athletes with nearly 200,000 cases seen each year.

Most all injuries of this type require surgery in order to reconstruct the ligaments, and Wil’s case was no different. A few weeks after the original diagnosis Dr. Farber performed surgery to repair the PCL and MCL. Two months later Wil underwent a second surgery to repair the ACL.

“As a former athlete himself, Dr. Farber understood how badly I wanted to get back in the game, but was also very careful to ensure the surgery was performed correctly and that I made a full recovery which I really valued,” said Wil.

Both surgeries were successful. However, Wil still needed to undergo six months of physical therapy with Lakeland Rehabilitation to ensure the ligaments healed correctly. Therapists helped him gain his full strength back under professional supervision.

Exactly eight months after the football game Wil is likely to never forget, he received the news that he was fully cleared and could return to playing the sports he loved. While he has no limitations, Wil won’t return to playing football. He has instead decided to focus primarily on baseball and basketball.

“Overall my recovery has been great,” said Wil. “I have to wear a brace while I play sports but I don’t experience any pain or discomfort. I would 100 percent recommend Dr. Farber to any athlete in my situation.”


The specially-trained orthopedic surgeons at Spectrum Health Lakeland are here to help relieve your pain, restore your mobility and independence, and get you back to work and other normal activities. To find an orthopedic surgeon near you, call 888.313.9167 or click here.


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