Blog Archives

Blog Archives

Dr. Douglas Wilburn Retires

Posted by on October 9, 2020

After nearly 38 years of continuous orthopedic practice at Mid-Tennessee Bone & Joint, Dr. Doug Wilburn retired from our clinic at the end of April 2020.

From his first steps into the office to his last day here, Dr. Wilburn embodied an easygoing and poised presence at the Clinic. Always willing to stay until the very last patient has been seen, he was known for usually being the last doctor out the door at the end of his day. He considered himself an educator and worked to make sure patients knew what they could do in order to take care of themselves.

Dr. Wilburn graduated from Lipscomb University with a degree in chemistry, but it wasn’t until he was close to graduation before he began thinking about a career in medicine. “I was about to graduate from college and someone put the idea in my head that I ought to go to med school,” he said. “After mulling it over and realizing it would be a good job, I decided to pursue it.”

Dr. Wilburn received his medical doctorate from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis and practiced at Centerville Medical Center. He completed his internship at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, TN, and later completed his residency at Baroness Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga, TN.

“I was always interested in orthopedics,” he said. “I think one of the most interesting things about orthopedics is you get a chance to work with a wide variety of patients, a wide variety of diseases, so it’s never dull. You’re also working with a lot of things that people get over and get better from, so to be able to cure several of these orthopedic issues is a plus.”

Upon graduation from residency in 1982, Dr. Wilburn was faced with the question of where to begin his practice. At the time, Dr. Ken Moore and Dr. Eslick Daniel had established our Clinic and were looking for another partner. After meeting with them, Dr. Wilburn was convinced Columbia would be a great place to practice and raise a family. Time proved him right, and Dr. Wilburn has never regretted his decision. He feels very fortunate to have been here his entire professional career.

His practice through the years began with some trauma work and sports medicine, but eventually grew to include more patients with back and spine ailments. He always recognized that orthopedic diseases and injuries can be traumatizing to patients, both physically as well as psychologically.

“Someone with a broken hip thinks, ‘am I going to be able to walk again, am I going to be able to resume my independence,’ so being able to help those patients get back to their routine and the things they enjoy is very satisfying.”

Professionally, Dr. Wilburn is most proud of how the Clinic has grown over the years, both in the numbers of physicians on staff and in the types of services we provide to patients. And while orthopedics has changed a lot over the last 38 years, he recalls that we have continued our commitment to provide high quality care, provide a family atmosphere for our staff, and keep our patients happy. “The last three decades have brought rapid changes in orthopedics,” he said. “By keeping up with those trends, we’ve stayed at the forefront of providing unsurpassed care to the community.”

Associates who have worked closely with Dr. Wilburn over the years are quick to compliment him on his work ethic and genuine nature. One associate recalled that Dr. Wilburn was always the first to lead the prayer at the company Christmas party each year, kicking off the festivities with a blessing and genuine thanks for all that we have. Tina Faulkner, Director of Operations Support, says, “Dr. Wilburn is the kindest and best person that I know, and he was a joy to work with for 35 years.”

Along with the sincere memories comes at least one funny and memorable story shared by Dr. Jeffrey Adams. Several years ago, Dr. Wilburn left work at the end of the day and went to the gym, got on a stationary bike with a book, and managed to lose track of time. Dr. Wilburn’s wife became quite concerned well after midnight when he hadn’t come home and she couldn’t locate him. The Columbia Police found Dr. Wilburn still at the gym around 2:00 a.m. engrossed in his bike and still spinning the pedals!

Giving back to the community is a big part of the Clinic’s mission, and something that Dr. Wilburn emulated during his tenure. He was an avid supporter of Columbia Academy when his children attended, serving as a board member for 12 years and as Chairman of the board for four years. He also lent his medical skills as a football team physician for nearly 30 years with both Columbia Academy and Columbia Central High School.

Professionally, Dr. Wilburn served as Chief of Staff at Maury Regional Medical Center in 1995 and is a member of several medical groups, including the Maury County Medical Society, Tennessee Medical Society, American Medical Association, and American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

Dr. Wilburn and his wife, Beth, have lived in Columbia since 1982. Together they raised three children, all having graduated from Columbia Academy. They also have four grandchildren, all of whom Dr. Wilburn is looking forward to spending more time with in retirement.

Dr. Wilburn had a few final words regarding his time at MTBJ. “I always thought Mid-Tennessee Bone & Joint was an enjoyable place to work. I have tried to provide a positive atmosphere for happy patients and maintain good working relationships with other doctors. I just always enjoyed the association with the staff who certainly make it easier to deliver medicine and for patients to receive care.”

Three Tennessee Orthopedic Clinics Merge

Posted by on August 21, 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn.Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance (TOA), Nashville, Tennessee Orthopaedic Clinics (TOC), Knoxville, and Mid-Tennessee Bone & Joint Clinic (MTBJ), Columbia, have signed a letter of intent to merge the three practices, making it one of the largest networks of orthopedic care providers in the country.

The announcement comes after months of planning and negotiations and will be effective Jan. 1, 2021. Combined, the group will have 104 physicians and a staff of more than 800, with 27 locations in 17 counties serving patients from the Great Smoky Mountains in Sevierville to the Tennessee River in Waverly.

Patients can expect the same level of exceptional care, and over the next few months they will see benefits such as increased access to technology and sharing of best practices. The groups will be able to collaborate and come up with new and innovative ways to deliver the highest standards of care to their patients. Each group will continue to focus on its local community, such as providing coverage to area high school and university athletic events.

“The opportunity to partner with TOC and MTBJ allows us to continue our path forward in creating innovative orthopedic care delivery models for the thousands of patients who span across our respective markets,” said Will Kurtz, M.D., TOA president. “We are excited to learn from one another and create high-quality, cost-effective patient outcomes. Ultimately, we feel this merger will accomplish this and much more for the many years to come.”

“A great advantage to this statewide partnership is the ability to collect and share clinical data leading to the continued enhancement of surgical outcomes,” said Mike Casey, M.D., TOC president. “We look forward to partnering with TOA and MTBJ in identifying and developing best practices while still offering the same focus on individual patient needs in the Knoxville and surrounding markets.”

“This partnership with TOA and TOC will further our goals of providing specialized, compassionate and exceptional orthopedic care to our patients in southern Middle Tennessee,” said Jonathan Pettit, M.D., MTBJ president. “We want to be in this community doing what we
do for a long time to come, and this partnership is an excellent way to help ensure the legacy of our clinic. It will facilitate innovation and present opportunities to practice medicine at a higher level. We cannot wait to see the advanced strategies and positive outcomes that will result from this merger.”

The practices will retain their individual names for now, and there are no plans for a reduction in the staff because of the merger.

TOA has 63 physicians and 22 mid-level providers on staff, including nurse practitioners and physician assistants, and a support staff of 473. It has 17 Middle Tennessee locations in Davidson, Williamson, Sumner, Rutherford, Putnam, Wilson, Montgomery, Dickson, Cheatham and Humphreys counties.

TOC has 32 physicians and 22 mid-level providers on staff, including nurse practitioners and physician assistants, and a support staff of more than 230. It has eight East Tennessee locations in Knox, Cumberland, Sevier, Anderson and Loudon counties.

MTBJ has 9 physicians and 5 mid-level providers on staff, including physician assistants, and a support staff of 75. Its main office is in Maury County, and it operates a satellite office in Marshall County.

For more information about the merger, please visit www.TNOrthos.com

Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance (TOA) was established in 1926. TOA’s physicians include nationally and internationally renowned surgeons who provide specialized expertise in sports medicine, joint replacement, spine, hand, wrist and elbow, foot and ankle, shoulder, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and interventional pain management. TOA offers its valued patients the convenience of 17 locations (four of which include orthopedic urgent care clinics) and a full array of treatment and diagnostic imaging services including physical therapy, hand therapy, MRI, and durable medical equipment. TOA also has a Sports Performance Center with specialized sports performance training for teams and individuals. TOA is proud to cover more high school and college sports teams than any group in the state of Tennessee.

About Tennessee Orthopaedic Clinics: TOC has provided orthopedic excellence in East Tennessee for over 20 years with 32 board-eligible/board-certified physicians and locations in Crossville, Lenoir City, Oak Ridge, Knoxville and Sevierville.

About Mid-Tennessee Bone & Joint Clinic: MTBJ is devoted to providing specialized, compassionate and exceptional orthopedic care to the residents of Middle Tennessee. Founded in 1975, MTBJ provides a complete range of orthopedic services, including the treatment of fractures, total joint replacement, degenerative diseases, spinal surgery, sports medicine, physical therapy and interventional pain management.

Mako Surgeries Reach Milestone at Maury Regional

Posted by on July 22, 2020

Earlier this month, Dr. Scott McCall and Dr. Cason Shirley, along with Maury Regional Medical Center reached a significant milestone regarding surgeries performed with the assistance of robotic technology.

Surgeons utilizing the Mako robotic system for knee and hip replacement surgeries performed their 1,000th procedure recently. Mid-Tennessee Bone & Joint physicians perform these surgeries using the additional precision and guidance offered by the Mako, giving surgeons the ability to ensure exact cuts and sizing that were previously more challenging with traditional methods.

For more information on this important milestone, visit the Maury Regional News and Events page.

2020 Free Student Athlete Sports Physicals

Posted by on June 17, 2020

Every spring, Mid-Tennessee Bone and Joint provides free sports physicals for Maury County student athletes. Due to Covid-19, we had to delay the date of the physicals and change the way in which they are conducted.

Sports physicals for Maury County elementary and middle schools, including Zion, Agathos, and Columbia Academy, are scheduled for Tuesday, June 30th at our clinic in Columbia. This year, the boys and girls physicals are on the same day and no make up date is scheduled. Students, please wear t-shirts, shorts, and athletic shoes. Coaches are encouraged to attend for crowd control. We prefer the students wear masks but we will not be requiring them. Temperatures will also be taken of all students who enter the building for physicals.

• All elementary and middle school girls are scheduled at 4:30pm on Tuesday, June 30th.

• All elementary and middle school boys are scheduled at 5:30pm on Tuesday, June 30th.

• Any high school students who did not receive their physical on June 5th may attend.

Student athletes must bring the following paperwork with them for the physicals:

TSSAA Preparticipation Evaluation Physical Examination Form (link)
Students are to fill out their name and date of birth at the top of the form
The rest of the form will be filled out by the physician on site during the physical

MTBJ Preparticipation Physical Evaluation History form (link)
Parents/guardians and students MUST fill out the form in its entirety prior to the physicals
Parents/guardians MUST sign the bottom of the form. Without a signature, the student will not receive a physical

Please contact our office at 931-381-2663 with any questions. We are looking forward to continuing this important tradition with Maury County Schools!

Coronavirus Update

Posted by on March 12, 2020

August 7, 2020 update

We are now allowing all patients to bring one support person with them to the appointment, regardless of whether it is medically necessary.

June 29, 2020 update

Mid-Tennessee Bone & Joint is actively invested in the health and safety of our patients, associates, and the rest of the community. Beginning July 1, we will be implementing the following requirements to anyone visiting our office:

•  All patients age 3 and older are required to wear a mask while in our office, including MRI and Physical Therapy downstairs. If you do not have a mask when you get off the elevator, one will be provided for you.
•  Patients will be notified of this requirement at the time an appointment is made and also at reminder calls.
•  One support person will be allowed to stay with a patient, but only if medically needed or a minor is involved.

When you come in for an appointment, you will see our associates are masked throughout the Clinic and hand sanitizer is readily available in the front lobby, hallways, and physician rooms. Prior to your appointment, you will receive a call from us asking a series of questions about your health and any contact you have had with someone who tested positive for Coronavirus. Our associates will ask similar questions when you arrive and before you are checked in for your appointment.

Though patient volumes at the Clinic have increased to near normal levels, we remain vigilant in cleaning and sanitizing with the same level of urgency to keep everyone safe. Coronavirus cases in Maury County have continued to increase in recent weeks, so our response will be the same as in the early days of the outbreak.

We appreciate your trust in MTBJ as we all work through this new normal.


March 23, 2020 update

Beginning this week, Mid-Tennessee Bone & Joint will trim down our appointments to only the most necessary patients. This includes patients who have an acute injury and would normally qualify for OrthoQuck, patients who very recently had surgery and need to be seen for a post-op appointment, patients who have a bone break or fracture, and patients who suspect they may have an infection.

If your upcoming scheduled appointment is for any other reason than what is outlined above, you will be asked to reschedule.

We are still screening patients for fever, shortness of breath, flu like symptoms, exposure to a suspected or confirmed case of Coronavirus, or cough.

Thank you for trusting us with your care. We will continue to update as necessary.


March 18, 2020 update

Beginning March 19th, 2020, we will be screening patients before their appointments. These screenings will happen in two different ways:

• Over the phone two days prior to your appointment
• In the lobby of our building when you arrive for your appointment

When patients arrive in the lobby of our building, before proceeding upstairs for the appointment, they will be screened on the following measures by one of our associates:

• Fever (100.5 or above is considered a fever by the CDC)
• Shortness of breath
• Flu like symptoms
• Been exposed to anyone that has been diagnosed with or recently tested (within 3-5 days) for Coronavirus
• Cough

If a patient is positive for a fever and another symptom, we will contact the MTBJ physician you are scheduled to see and determine whether your appointment will proceed as normal, if you will be rescheduled, if you need to see your PCP, or if you need to go to Maury Regional Urgent Care or the Emergency Department.

Family members of patients will also be screened using the above. If a family member who is with you for your appointment has a fever, they will not be allowed to go up the elevator.

Please know that we are taking these measures with everyone’s health and safety in mind. Please reach out to us with any questions.


March 12, 2020 update

With so much sickness going around right now – flu, stomach bug, and the coronavirus – we wanted to give our patients and the community an update on what we’re doing to combat these germs.

• We’re increasing the presence and use of hand sanitizers in multiple locations around the office.
• We are doing more focused cleanings, over and above our normal sanitation process, in areas that see the most contact. This includes keyboards, door handles, phones, and most other hard surfaces.
• As a temporary precaution, your provider may not offer to shake hands when greeting you.
• Finally, if you’re feeling unwell, please contact your primary care physician and then give us a call to cancel your appointment. We will get you rescheduled as soon as you’re healthy again!

No matter what germs we’re talking about, staying healthy starts with these common sense measures. We’re doing our part to reduce illness in the clinic, and we welcome any questions or concerns you may have.

Christmas Door Decorating Contest 2019!

Posted by on December 9, 2019

Our associates teamed up again this year to decorate doors around our clinic, and as you can tell from the photos below, we have some very creative people! We worked during lunch and after hours to create our masterpieces, and the results were well worth the extra time spent. Our first, second, and third place entries are below along with the rest of the doors. Let us know which one was your favorite!


1st place


2nd place


3rd place

MTBJ Harvest Share Donation

Posted by on November 25, 2019

Just as our business has been blessed, we recognize how important it is to give back and be a blessing to others. This month, we initiated a donation to Harvest Share Food Pantry of Maury County, and our associates rose to the occasion! We divided the office into six teams and when the drive was over, we had collected approximately 3,000 food items! We are so grateful for the work that Harvest Share does in our community, and we are glad to have the opportunity to give back to this organization!




Joint Pain Seminar Scheduled for Fall

Posted by on September 4, 2019

Mid-Tennessee Bone and Joint is hosting a series of three free seminars focusing on the causes and different treatment options for knee and hip pain. Our surgeons Dr. Scott McCall and Dr. Cason Shirley will discuss arthritis in the major joints, surgical and non-surgical treatment options, and Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Technology. The seminars will be held at Puckett’s in downtown Columbia and dinner will be served as part of the evening. For more information and to register, call our office at 931-381-2663 or email Kristin@mtbj.net.

Treating Hands and Wrists

Posted by on July 22, 2019

Our hands are constantly in use from the time we wake up until we go to bed. Pouring coffee, holding a steering wheel, typing, folding clothes, picking up children, and opening doors are just a very small array of tasks hands must accomplish each day. They’re called upon to complete unwieldy chores like picking up loads of firewood and also being asked to nimbly thread a needle. All is going well until you feel a pop in your wrist, or you jam your finger, or possibly suffer an unfortunate traumatic injury. When everyday function is limited, it’s hard to complete even the most basic of tasks.

Dr. Lee Hunter is the hand and wrist surgeon at Mid-Tennessee Bone and Joint. He has practiced for 22 years and joined MTBJ in 2002. According to Dr. Hunter, there are many conditions that can lead to pain in the hand and wrist. Some can be acute, like a fracture. Some conditions are the result of overuse or incorrect ergonomics, like carpal tunnel, De Quervain’s tendinosis, or trigger finger. And still others are simply due to age or genetics, like osteoarthritis. No matter the source of the pain, you want it gone.

In diagnosing hand and wrist pain, Dr. Hunter says obtaining a history from the patient and performing a physical exam, along with x-rays, are almost always necessary in order to determine the root causes of the pain. “Lots of patients come in thinking all hand pain is either carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis,” he says. “Sometimes that’s the case, but a lot of time it isn’t.” Asking questions about the patient’s work environment, determining exactly how the pain manifests itself such as tingling or shooting, and inspecting the mechanics of the hand are all ways to help identify the patient’s condition.

One topic that usually gets a lot of attention when discussing hand or wrist pain is cracking knuckles. Everyone has heard someone say that it will cause arthritis, but what is the truth? According to Dr. Hunter, there is absolutely no evidence that habitually cracking knuckles causes any cartilage damage or arthritis. The sound may be irritating, but that is the only harm it will cause.

Dr. Hunter often sees injuries related to sports, specifically related to wrist and thumb ligaments. One such injury is called gamekeeper’s thumb and involves the ulnar collateral ligament. This is an injury of the soft tissue that connects the bones of the thumb together and happens when the thumb is pulled backward away from the hand, also described as the thumb being hyperextended. Sports injuries can likewise result in a fracture, for example, if you fall onto an outstretched hand. Jammed or dislocated fingers are also common sports injuries, indicated when the finger has a somewhat crooked appearance along with swelling and pain. Apply ice until you can see a doctor, who may recommend a splint or to “buddy tape” the injured finger to an uninjured one next to it.

Hand and wrist arthritis can be somewhat difficult to treat simply because the condition is often determined to be chronic, and if left untreated, can cause permanent injuries. But catching it early can mean more options when it comes to pain management and restoration of function. Arthritis pain typically presents with aching joints, morning pain and stiffness, fingers feeling tight, and bony lumps about the finger joints and wrists. Numbness is not generally a symptom of arthritis. Patients report feeling pain when performing everyday tasks such as opening bottle tops or jars, writing, or computer work.

The most common treatments for arthritis are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroid injections, and analgesics like Aspercreme and Icy Hot. These treatments vary in what they do to minimize the effects of arthritis. NSAIDs ease both pain and inflammation, corticosteroids are just used for inflammation relief, and analgesics are just for pain relief and are a good option for patients who are unable to take NSAIDs.

Partial wrist fusions are a common surgical treatment for wrist arthritis when the wrist has been damaged to the point that it no longer functions normally. The surgery allows the patient to preserve half or more of their wrist motion while providing predictable pain relief and restoring function. Total wrist fusions are much less common, but are an option for pain relief when necessary. Dr. Hunter also performs many thumb arthritis surgeries. They are very common and are performed for loss of function and pain at the base of the thumb where it joins onto the wrist. This particular surgery has very high patient satisfaction rates. Finger joint replacements, and in some cases fusions, also generally work very well.

Treatments also vary depending on the diagnosis. Dr. Hunter will often recommend cortisone injections as a first option for arthritis, but the injections have limited benefits in the thumb joint. In milder cases, a splint can provide temporary relief. Cartilage tears and ligament injuries within the wrist can often be addressed with arthroscopy. Carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger fingers, de Quervain’s disease, tendon and nerve lacerations, and Dupuytren’s disease are all common hand and wrist problems that can require surgical treatment.

One topic that usually gets a lot of attention when discussing hand or wrist pain is cracking knuckles. Everyone has heard someone say that it will cause arthritis, but what is the truth? According to Dr. Hunter, there is absolutely no evidence that habitually cracking knuckles causes any cartilage damage or arthritis. The sound may be irritating, but that is the only harm it will cause.

Dr. Hunter is here to answer any questions you may have regarding hand or wrist pain. To schedule an appointment, call our office at 931-381-2663.

2019 Free Student Athlete Sports Physicals

Posted by on May 1, 2019

Every spring, Mid-Tennessee Bone and Joint provides free sports physicals for Maury County student athletes. This year, those physicals will occur on Monday, May 13 (boys) and Monday, May 20 (girls). Student athletes will need to bring the following paperwork with them for the physicals:

TSSAA Preparticipation Evaluation Physical Examination Form (link)

Students are to fill out their name and date of birth at the top of the form
The rest of the form will be filled out by the physician on site during the physical

MTBJ Preparticipation Physical Evaluation History form (link)

Parents/guardians and students are to fill out the form in its entirety prior to the physicals
Parents/guardians are to sign the bottom of the form. Without a signature, the student will not receive a physical.

View the schedule below: