From Fractured Feet to Full Recovery:  June’s Remarkable Journey with Bone and Joint Institute of Tennessee

June Debatin is no stranger to adventure.  Over 22 years ago, she and her husband moved to Tennessee from Atlanta.  Since then, she has not stopped traveling, hiking and exploring the world.  However, June is also very familiar with the types of injuries that can result from her active lifestyle.

In 2016, after two years of intensive training, June embarked on a 100-mile walk across Wessex, England, where she was born and grew up.  At 76 years old, she was determined to achieve her goal.  The night before June was to complete her walk, she and her husband were on their way to their room from dinner when she stepped down onto a broken step injuring her foot.  Immediately, she knew her goal would have to wait; her foot was in bad condition.

After being told her foot was not broken, June flew back to Tennessee defeated and in pain. Upon arrival, her son arranged for her to be evaluated at Bone and Joint Institute of Tennessee.

Dr. Ronald Derr took one look at my foot, with the bruising, and told me I had a Lisfranc fracture,” said June.  “He immediately knew the source of my pain even without an X-ray.”

Because a Lisfranc fracture occurs in the spot where the metatarsal bones connect to the rest of the foot, it can be a difficult kind of fracture to heal.  However, Dr. Derr assured June that she would be able to heal and avoid surgery if she followed his exact instructions.

Following a week in a splint and several weeks in a cast, June began to heal so well that even Dr. Derr was surprised.

“Dr. Derr was absolutely wonderful throughout the whole experience,” said June.  “Each time I came back to his office for a checkup, he would pull a chair up and take the time to ask how I was doing.  He cared about me as a whole person, and that’s not always found in a doctor.”

Through the months of physical therapy and determination, June made a full recovery and experienced no residual pain.  In fact, the same determination led June to complete a 55-mile walk on the coast of Ireland just two years later.  She credits Dr. Derr with that achievement.

“I consider him the person who pulled me out of a depression and made that walk possible,” said June.  “Dr. Derr realized how important it was to me and was committed to my well-being.”

However, the longevity of June’s relationship with Bone and Joint Institute extends far beyond her foot fracture.  Over the years, her adventures have resulted in back, shoulder and leg injuries, among others. 

Most recently, June slipped at her home and broke her femur.  “When I did it, I knew it was bad and I knew I needed to be at Bone and Joint,” said June.  “I’ve always had exceptional medical care there, and this time was no different.”

Dr. Matt Anderson performed surgery to repair June’s femur in November 2023, and she began the road to recovery.  Now, just six months later, June spends her time walking through the 15-acre field at home, pain-free and nearing the completion of her recovery.

“I have learned that when you experience an injury, you need prayer, good family, excellent medical care and the fortitude to keep going,” said June.  “Bone and Joint is the place to go to get the right answer and the right treatment.  It is where my family and I will always go for our orthopaedic needs.”

June is currently working on a book detailing her adventures, including her 100-mile walk.  She plans to share a copy with Dr. Derr as a thank you for his dedication to helping her get back to her adventures.

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