Bone & Joint, S.C., a provider of specialized orthopedic, sports medicine, pain management, and physical and occupational therapy care, is celebrating 50 years of helping people move better and live active and fulfilling lives.

Thomas O. Miller, MD, opened Bone & Joint’s solo practice in 1969. His goal was to offer patients excellent orthopedic care, using the most advanced medical treatments and the latest technology available at the time. Dr. Miller performed the first joint replacement in the Wausau area and set the standard for orthopedic care in Central Wisconsin.

In 1970, Dr. Richard L. Buechel joined Dr. Miller. Two years later, Dr. Donald H. Kranendonk became the third partner in 1972, followed by Dr. Alexander S. Foltz in 1976. This “charter group” of physicians created the core foundation of the Bone & Joint Center we know today.

The doctor-owned practice grew and moved several times during its first 10 years until it found a home on the third floor of the Wausau Hospital (Aspirus) complex in 1979.

Clinic records show people traveled from Minocqua, Plover, Wittenberg, and Medford for treatment; sometimes, scheduling appointments months in advance to see a Bone & Joint provider.

With patients traveling over 50 miles for appointments, expansion became the obvious next step. Bone & Joint opened two satellite clinics: one in Medford in 2002 and one in Merrill in 2006.

As Bone & Joint continued to grow. The partners made plans to build a new clinic and broke ground at its Rib Mountain location in 2007. The clinic moved in and opened the doors in 2008.

Continuing Dr. Miller’s legacy of providing innovative and advanced medical care, the new clinic included a Musculoskeletal and Surgery Center, the first of its kind in central Wisconsin. The center features advanced diagnostic equipment and state-of-the-art medical technology and furnishings. The onsite surgery center allows patients in good general health to have their ACL and rotator cuff repairs, total joint replacements, and pain management procedures done onsite at the clinic, which helps reduce healthcare costs.

In 2013, Bone & Joint added Walk-In Care services at its Wausau clinic to care for sports-related injuries, broken bones, and other urgent orthopedic needs. A year later, Bone & Joint expanded its Walk-In Care to Medford as well.

As provider schedules continued to fill and more people from the Stevens Point and Plover area sought Bone & Joint’s services, the partners decided to expand again.

In July 2016, Bone & Joint opened the doors of its Plover Orthopedic and Walk-In Care Center at 1767 Park Avenue. The Plover location serves people who live and work near Plover, Stevens Point, and Wisconsin Rapids.

In its 50th year, Bone & Joint expanded its service line offerings to include physical and occupational therapy in Plover and Wausau. The addition of physical and occupational therapy services allows Bone & Joint to supply a complete suite of orthopedic services under one roof. Patients in central Wisconsin can receive complete care at Bone & Joint from their initial diagnosis until the final physical therapy appointment.

“We’re proud of the organization we’ve built,” said Benjamin Hackett, MD, orthopedic spine surgeon and president of Bone & Joint. “Our physician-owned practice continues to set the standard for high-quality patient-centered care in the central Wisconsin region.”

Currently, Bone & Joint employs 15 physicians who offer specialized orthopedic and sports medicine care, pain management, and comprehensive care for the spine, neck, hands, arms, shoulders, hip, knees, ankles, and feet. Bone & Joint’s orthopedic team includes nine physician assistants and nurse practitioners who also provide compassionate care.

Bone & Joint’s providers are supported by 175 associates, including 46 clinical staff, 45 support staff, seven administrators, and 12 business development professionals.

“For 50 years, Bone & Joint has remained true to Dr. Miller’s mission to care for people and help them get back to active lives,” said Dr. Hackett. “We continue to treat each patient the way we would like to be treated. The practice has come a long way from Dr. Miller’s solo practice, but I think the level and quality of care we currently provide would make Dr. Miller very proud of the legacy he started.”