'Keeping You Active'
A history of West Tennessee Bone & Joint
Orthopedic surgery was much different more than 40 years ago when Dr. Lowell Stonecipher opened West Tennessee Bone & Joint Clinic, P.C.
Major bone fractures were treated for weeks in traction or for months in heavy plaster casts. Surgery often resulted in long hospital stays. Arthroscopy, MRI and same-day surgery were inconceivable.
“Ninety-nine percent of what I do today has changed from when I started,” said Dr. David Johnson, who began his career at West Tennessee Bone & Joint Clinic in 1987.
The first clinic was in a former motel, next to the Piggly Wiggly and across Forest Avenue from Jackson Madison County General Hospital, said Dr. Stonecipher. Hotel rooms became examination rooms. “We had a bathroom in every exam room,” he said, smiling.
When he opened the clinic, he set a goal for the number of patients he wanted to see each month. “By the second month,” he said, “I made my goal.”
Practicing by himself, he was on call 24 hours a day for his own patients and shared call at the hospital emergency room. Dr. Jerry Hornsby, who is now retired, joined him 15 months after he opened. Dr. John Everett joined the clinic four years later; Dr. Michael Cobb came four years after that; and Dr. Johnson joined four years after Dr. Cobb.
“The goal at the time was to add a new physician every four to five years,” said Dr. Stonecipher.
The doctors moved the clinic to a larger site on Roland Avenue, and in 1990, opened the location at 24 Physicians Drive. West Tennessee Bone & Joint physicians practicing at the clinic are Dr. Stonecipher, Dr. Everett, Dr. Cobb, Dr. Johnson, Dr. Kelly Pucek, Dr. Harold Antwine, Dr. David Pearce, Dr. Jason Hutchison, Dr. Adam Smith, Dr. Doug Haltom, Dr. Mike Dolan, Dr. Eric Homberg and Dr. Blake Chandler, who works clinic in Paris.
The clinic’s 15 physicians are joined by four nurse practitioners, as well as a support staff of more than 110 people that includes registered nurse anesthetists and physical and occupational therapists. The two newest physicians — Dr. Stan Ragon and Dr. Kyle Stephens joined the clinic in Fall 2015. Dr. Ragon, who grew up in Jackson, works at the clinic’s Jackson site; Dr. Stephens, who grew up in Henry County, joined Dr. Blake Chandler at the Paris clinic.
West Tennessee Bone & Joint Clinic is one of the region’s most highly respected practices for orthopedic and musculoskeletal injuries, sports medicine, interventional pain management, and hand injuries and disorders. Dr. Homberg brought his specialty of interventional pain management when he joined the clinic last year. Dr. Stephens will add his expertise in spinal surgery,
“Bringing in new partners over the years has brought new ideas and ways of practicing orthopedics to the clinic,” Dr. Johnson said. “Adding well-trained providers helps all of us.”
“Medical groups can be like marriages,” he continued. “We have been blessed in that we get along so well. We respect one another. We take care of one another’s patients.”
The clinic’s providers see patients in 11 locations throughout West Tennessee. The clinic provides physician services, imaging, physical therapy, durable medical equipment and a same-day surgery center, which is a joint venture with the Eye Clinic. In fact, it is the only orthopedic clinic in Jackson with its own surgery center. It is more convenient for patients and can reduce medical expenses by as much as 50 percent. In one of the latest advancements, Dr. Cobb did Jackson’s first same-day knee replacement at the surgery center last year.
“We have grown this practice by dedicated staff, referrals and patient loyalty,” said Chief Executive Officer Donna Klutts, who has been at the clinic since 2000. “We are both humbled and proud of our past, but realize that this never could have been possible without the support and confidence expressed by our patients.”
“Our providers are driven by the desire to be well trained, educated on the latest advanced technology, experienced and compassionate to ensure the highest level of competence in our individualized delivery of quality patient care. Our physicians are supported by an incredible team of professional support staff.”
The more than 40 plus years of progress will not represent a “plateau” on which to rest, but a “foundation” in which to build the future, she added.
“We are ready to serve. Whether detecting osteoporosis, treating a work-related or sports injury, relieving pain or replacing a joint, our focus is on individualized care — ‘keeping you active.’”