Blog Archives

Blog Archives

Workers Compensation – When You’re Injured on the Job

Posted by on July 12, 2018

Workers Compensation: no one wants to experience it, but everyone who works needs access to it. And if you mention the words ‘workers comp’ to a business owner or employee, and you may be met with unhappy groans. The mountains of paperwork, the time the employee is out of the office, and the injury itself are not enjoyable for anyone. Our associates at Mid-Tennessee Bone and Joint recognize the effort that goes into the entire workers comp process and we are devoted to managing the steps from start to finish, making it as stress-free as possible for everyone.

We are proud to have two skilled Workers Comp Specialists at our Columbia office who handle every aspect of our patients’ cases. Kay McKissack and Cindy Carpenter are the main contacts for all claims within our office. Whether you’re the employer, employee, case manager, or adjustor, you can reach out to our office if you have any questions or comments about the case in which you are involved.
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So what should you expect on your first visit as a workers comp patient? A quick phone call from the employer to start the process will include questions about the type of injury, an approval for the employee to be seen by our providers, determination of a case number, confirmation of insurance, and the employee’s information. For workers comp injuries that happened within the last two weeks, the employee is able to come through OrthoQuick to be seen with no appointment necessary.

From there, we will perform any required scans to confirm the injury and begin to develop a course of treatment. For injuries that require surgical attention, we have an out-patient surgery center in our building. We also have a full physical therapy suite in our building, complete with a HydroWorx therapy pool for patients who can benefit from that type of treatment.

For employers, we offer many benefits of allowing us to care for your workers comp cases. The primary benefit is our ability to fully treat the patient within one location. Patients can see a doctor, receive an MRI or x-ray, have out-patient surgery, and undergo physical therapy all in the same building. We can even prescribe medication in-house for our workers comp patients.

For our friends and colleagues in southern Middle Tennessee, utilizing Mid-Tennessee Bone and Joint for your workers comp care limits the distance a patient travels for treatment and avoids the hassle of dealing with a confusing network of hospitals, reducing time and cost involved in a treatment plan.

Through OrthoQuick, we treat a variety of workers comp injuries. While there is no “typical” injury, the injuries that present usually fall into one of a few categories: slip/trip, overexertion, falls, machinery accident, or injury via repetitive motion. We will also see back and neck workers comp injuries through OrthoQuick.

For all parties, the ability to diagnose and treat an injury quickly is of the utmost importance. That means a faster return to work, more opportunities to earn a paycheck, and more hands on deck for the employer. However, one possible scenario is that your injury has healed enough to get back to work, but not enough to return to the exact job you had prior to your injury. We encourage all employers to offer light duty options to their employees returning from time off work. Your doctor will let you know when you’re able to go back to work, even if your treatment isn’t fully completed. Your doctor will also let you know of any limitations for your job and what you will and will not be able to perform while working.
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For example, if your pre-injury job mandated that you regularly lift 20 pounds, your light duty responsibilities could be modified to remove any heavy lifting. An employee’s light duty position may include desk work, inventory work, or another non-strenuous position. In the state of Tennessee, an employer is not required to provide light duty work to an employee, but it is encouraged. If the employer provides light duty accommodations to the employee based on the treating physician’s medical opinion, the employee must return to work and attempt the light duty position or risk losing their disability benefits. Our office works with all parties to ensure clear communication on these decisions.

For employers, our physicians are available to tour your facility and answer any questions related to workers comp care. We know it’s helpful to see who is personally treating your employees and what to expect during that treatment plan. In turn, we can determine what light duty options are available at your company, meet the key decision makers we will be communicating with, and obtain a full understanding of job duties and what types of movements employees make in their positions. Are there repetitive overhead arm motions? Do your employees regularly lift 20 to 50 pounds? Knowing that information will help our physicians and physical therapists as we treat your employee.

Our satellite locations in Pulaski and Lewisburg also make it easy to be seen for follow up workers comp visits without traveling into Columbia. Dr. Doug Wilburn and Dr. Jeffrey Adams staff these locations about twice per month, so your employees can easily request one of these locations for their return visits if they are assigned to any of these physicians.

Our primary goal at Mid-Tennessee Bone and Joint is to deliver quality treatment for our patients and provide that treatment with care and respect. Please don’t hesitate to call our office if you have any questions regarding our workers compensation program.
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MTBJ Offers Expanded Physical Therapy Hours

Posted by on July 12, 2018

Our physical therapy department has introduced extended hours to better accommodate our patients. Our therapy staff is available from 7:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. on Friday, and 8:00 a.m. – noon on Saturday. Many of our patients are coordinating their physical therapy schedules with work and other family or personal obligations. It is our hope that these extended hours will allow more opportunities to complete their prescribed therapy regimen and ensure full healing. For Medicare patients, please contact our office for information on available hours.

We are also introducing a concept known as prehab. Prehab is therapy prescribed to the patient to be completed before surgery. The exercises strengthen the part of the body where surgery will occur with the hopes that it will lead to faster healing times after the procedure. Strength and flexibility are improved and some studies show a reduced risk for surgical complications. Prehab is an option for all surgical candidates but specifically patients who are scheduled for total hip replacement, total knee replacement, total shoulder replacement, rotator cuff repair, and ACL surgery.
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“Prehab is a combination of providing knowledge and establishing an exercise routine prior to surgery,” said Ashley Miller, PT, physical therapy Clinic Director. “In many cases, prehab has provided an emotional benefit to the patient as well as improved surgical outcomes.”

Finally, for patients who have total knee or hip replacements, MTBJ physical therapy staff will be available to come to the patient’s home to start therapy after the patient is released from the hospital. This option is geared toward patients in the Columbia area that need a little extra help with independence at home, prior to starting therapy at the clinic. Insurance would allow for home visits for most patients, and the remaining visits can be done on site at our MTBJ physical therapy suite.

Mid-Tennessee Bone and Joint continually strives to provide patients with compassionate, specialized, and exceptional care in all areas of orthopedics and physical therapy. We are delighted to offer these new options in caring for your health!

2018 Free Student Athlete Sports Physicals

Posted by on April 16, 2018

Every spring, Mid-Tennessee Bone and Joint provides free sports physicals for Maury County student athletes. This year, those physicals will occur on Monday, April 30 (boys) and Monday, May 7 (girls). Student athletes will need to bring the following paperwork with them for the physicals:

TSSAA Preparticipation Evaluation Physical Examination Form (link)

  • Parents/guardians and 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.
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    View the schedule below:
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    ACL and Athlete Safety

    Posted by on March 9, 2018

    In the rise to success, a young athlete’s body is put through a lot. Suffering an injury at the peak of their performance can put a temporary halt to that success and potentially derail future plans, depending on the severity of the injury. One type of injury that has been found to cause more trouble in young female athletes is injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). There are many theories as to why females are more prone to ACL injuries as opposed to males, suggesting it may have to do with a difference in anatomy, hormones, and even evidence that males and females simply run and jump differently, leading to a prevalence of these injuries.

    These injuries can happen in almost any sport and are usually the result of a quick pivot, a sudden stop, or an awkward landing. When that “pop” happens and you feel pain, swelling, and instability, there’s a good chance the ACL is involved. And once the ACL is involved, a sports medicine professional should also be involved.

    There are two main bones that bear weight in the knee – the femur and the tibia. The ACL is a ligament that helps keep those bones in alignment. When a tear happens, the bones are at risk for moving out of place. It may feel like your knee is giving out when you attempt to walk on it. A thorough exam from an orthopedic specialist can diagnose an ACL tear, and you may also receive an MRI exam to look at the soft tissues in the area for additional injuries.
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    Treatment for an ACL injury can vary greatly depending on the severity of the tear, the patient’s age, and the patient’s activity level. For a sprain or mild tear, a patient can usually proceed with rehab and modified activity levels to restore the knee to pre-injury condition. For a full tear, surgical reconstruction is typically on the agenda in order to reduce further damage to the knee.

    Mid-Tennessee Bone and Joint is one of the very few therapy clinics in the entire Middle Tennessee area to offer aquatic therapy with a HydroWorx pool. Aquatic therapy is extremely beneficial after ACL reconstruction as rehab can begin much sooner due to the low impact workout that water provides. The underwater treadmill improves range of motion and takes pressure off of the joints, allowing the patient to build strength easier. We are proud to offer this service to our therapy patients to improve their surgical outcomes.

    According to the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine, about 150,000 ACL injuries occur in the United States every year. These injuries require extensive rehabilitation and often surgical reconstruction. Our group is working together to keep more student athletes healthy and on the field.

    A Focus on Sports Medicine

    Posted by on March 9, 2018

    With the wide variety of sports happening in Middle Tennessee during the year, there are many opportunities for injuries. Our clinic not only specializes in specific parts of the body, but we also have an overall sports medicine specialization. Dr. Jonathan Pettit focuses solely on Sports Medicine, and five other physicians – Dr. Doug Wilburn, Dr. Randy Davidson, Dr. Jeff Adams, Dr. Scott McCall, and Dr. Cason Shirley – include Sports Medicine along with their other specialties.

    According to Dr. Pettit, the most common sports injuries he sees are an even mix between acute (sudden) and overuse injuries. He frequently treats ACL tears, meniscus (knee cartilage) tears, rotator cuff and shoulder labral tears, ligament injuries of the knee and shoulder, and fractures of all varieties.
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    Youth are at an increased risk for injury in league sports because their bodies are still growing. One example is the growth plate – the area at the ends of a child’s long bones and is the last part of the bone to harden, typically during the teenage years and sooner for girls rather than boys. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, one-third of all growth plate fractures occur during participation in competitive sports such as football, basketball, or gymnastics. “We see a large number of growth plate fractures,” said Dr. Pettit. “If they are not aligned well or go untreated, they may impair an athlete by limiting range of motion or causing uneven growth in the injured area.”

    The field of sports medicine is not just limited to youth athletes, however. Adults are also prone to sports injuries. The term occasionally used is “weekend warrior” for an adult who may be sedentary in the office during the week but plays on a Saturday kickball league or takes part in a spontaneous pick-up basketball game with the neighborhood kids. Not wearing appropriate protective gear and improper stretching, or a complete lack thereof, could put you at risk for injury.

    So what happens when you get hurt? The affected area begins to swell or bruise and possibly becomes unstable. You know something is wrong, but you’re not sure how much damage has been done. The first thing to do is take weight off of it. Rest and stay away from the activity that caused the injury for now. You can also ice the area and use non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (Advil, Motrin, or Aleve). After two or three days, if the pain hasn’t lessened or resolved it’s time to get checked out by a sports medicine specialist. Student athletes usually have access to a team trainer at school to assess the injury, who can then refer them on to a sports medicine professional for further evaluation. Any acute severe injury or inability to bear weight or use a limb is a call for more immediate assessment.

    The goal for our physicians is to treat the athlete as conservatively as possible while focusing on a return to pre-injury activity levels. Most treatments are non-surgical and would typically include physical therapy, bracing, or injections. Only after you are able to practice without pain or difficulty should you attempt to get back into the sport.

    The biggest question is how can you avoid injuries in the first place? Unfortunately, sometimes things just happen and an injury is no one’s fault. But there are things you can do to lessen the likelihood that you’ll end up in our clinic. One very easy thing is to stay hydrated! Dr. Pettit says that dehydration contributes to physical and mental fatigue, which could increase injury rates during sports. Hydration and appropriate rest periods are significant to limiting sports related injuries.

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    We also consider overuse injuries. These are typically caused by repetitive motion in a sport, like swinging a bat or throwing a football. Eventually that shoulder or elbow will get tired and muscles can become strained. Patients can reduce the likelihood of an overuse injury by reducing the time spent on a certain activity, and also ensuring the use of appropriate form and correct technique.

    Proper warm up and cool down periods are also crucial to preventing sports injuries. If a student athlete is running late to practice, missing the warm up laps around the field, and decides to head straight into a tough scrimmage then there is the potential for an injury.

    Having good, sturdy footwear is another important part of training. Did you know there are some significant differences in walking shoes versus running shoes? Variations in the amount of cushion, heel height, and flexibility can be the difference between a shoe that feels good and supports your foot and a shoe that gives you blisters and sprained ankles.

    For any questions about a sports injury, contact our office for an appointment!

    New Sportsmetrics Class

    Posted by on February 2, 2018

    Dates: 2/12 – 3/23 (6 weeks – M/W/F)
    Times: 3:30 – 5:00pm
    Location: Game Time Sports and Training 1210 Impact Dr, Columbia, TN 38401
    Registration: CLICK HERE To Register Today
    Brochure: CLICK HERE To Download

    It is easy to get caught up in the race to make your child the fastest and strongest in their sport. But it will never happen if they suffer a knee injury. Take charge with Sportsmetrics™ so your number one athlete can get stronger, jump higher, run faster, and stay injury free!

    Mid-Tennessee Bone and Joint Physical Therapy, in conjunction with Game Time Sports and Training, is now the exclusive sponsor and provider for this dynamic Sportsmetrics™ program in Columbia.
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    Serious knee ligament injuries sustained by female athletes during sports participation have reached epidemic proportions: female athletes are two to ten times more likely to suffer non-contact knee injuries as compared to their male counterparts. Annually, one in 100 high school and collegiate female athletes will sustain a serious knee ligament injury. These injuries require extensive rehabilitation and usually surgical reconstruction. The majority of these athletes lose an entire athletic season and suffer lower academic performance and class attendance as a result.

    The Program consists of:

    • Sports Injury Pre-Test
    • Sportsmetrics™ Program (3 sessions per week for 6 weeks)
    • Sports Injury Post-Test

    Components of each session:

    • Dynamic Warm-Up
    • Jump Training
    • Strength Training
    • Agility and Speed Training
    • Flexibility

    Sportsmetrics™ has been featured in the New York Times, USA Today, ESPN and ABC’s Wide World of Sports. For more information visit: www.sportsmetrics.org.

    Mid-Tennessee Bone and Joint Receives PedCAT Accreditation

    Posted by on January 15, 2018

    Back in January of 2017, Mid-Tennessee Bone and Joint announced the acquisition of a new PedCAT machine designed to assist with foot and ankle imaging. Now we are proud to announce that the Clinic has earned accreditation by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) for this unit.

    Approximately one in 10 Americans undergo a Computed Tomography (CT) scan each year in order to detect abnormalities, injuries, or diseases. A highly regarded diagnostic imaging tool due to its ability to detect minute differences in tissue as well as its multi-planar reformatted imaging capabilities, CT is used to diagnose conditions of the neck, chest, abdomen, pelvis, extremities, cardiac, and vascular system and sinus and temporal bones.
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    There are many factors that contribute to an accurate diagnosis based on CT imaging. The training and experience of both the operator performing the procedure and the interpreting physician, the type of CT equipment used, adherence to radiation dose guidelines, and the quality assessment metrics each facility is required to measure, all contribute to a positive patient outcome. IAC accreditation is a “seal of approval” that patients can rely on as an indicator of consistent quality care and a dedication to continuous improvement.

    Mid-Tennessee Bone and Joint Clinic has been granted a three-year term of accreditation by the IAC in CT in the area of Body CT via our PedCAT. Accreditation by IAC indicates that our Clinic has undergone an intensive application and review process and is found to be in compliance with the published Standards, thus demonstrating a commitment to quality patient care in CT. Comprised of a detailed self-evaluation followed by a thorough review by a panel if medical experts, the IAC accreditation process enables both the critical operational and technical components of our facility to be assessed, including representative case studies and their corresponding final reports.

    Christmas Door Decorating Contest!

    Posted by on December 4, 2017

    We added a fun new event to this year’s Christmas celebration – a door decorating contest! Our associates were divided into teams to decorate 19 doors across our office. The first place theme was The Polar Express, complete with lights and sound effects! Below is a picture of the winning entry and the other doors, all of which were very impressive!


    1st Place


    2nd Place


    3rd Place

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    MTBJ Donation to Harvest Share

    Posted by on November 21, 2017

    Just as our business has been blessed, we recognize how important it is to give back and be a blessing to others. In October, 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 4,700 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!

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    Maury Regional, MTBJ offers robotic-arm surgeries for knees, hips

    Posted by on October 23, 2017

    Maury Regional Medical Center has invested in new robotic technology to assist with total and partial knee and hip replacement surgeries. The Mako robotic arm system has the ability to help our surgeons provide patients with a personalized surgical experience.
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    Before surgery, your surgeon takes a CT scan of your hip or knee that is turned into a 3D virtual model. It’s loaded into the Mako System software and is used to create your personalized pre-operative plan. In the operating room, your surgeon uses Mako to assist in performing your surgery based on your personalized pre-operative plan. The surgeon guides the robotic-arm within the plan’s predefined area and the Mako System helps the surgeon stay within the planned boundaries. The Mako system allows your surgeon to make adjustments to your plan during surgery as needed.

    After surgery, your surgeon, nurses and physical therapists will set goals with you to get you back on the move. Your surgeon may review an x-ray of your new joint with you.

    Dr. Scott McCall and Dr. Cason Shirley have already performed several surgeries with the Mako system at Maury Regional Medical Center. “Both of the surgeries went really well,” Shirley said. “We have more scheduled in the coming weeks, so we’re getting ramped up quickly.”

    To read more about the Mako robotic surgery, click here for an article from The Daily Herald.