Hi, I’m Jeffrey Willers, a foot and ankle specialist at Elite Sports Medicine + Orthopedics.
I grew up in Gainesville, Georgia, which is a small town about an hour northeast of Atlanta. Physical fitness and health have always been important to me. As a kid, my hobbies included swimming, tennis, mountain biking, and I was a member of the Boy Scouts.
What Led You to Becoming an Orthopedic Surgeon and a Foot and Ankle Specialist?
I grew up around orthopedics as my father was an orthopedic surgeon himself. While in college, I would work in the operating room as an orderly. During that time, I had the chance to observe a number of orthopedic surgeries.
I was drawn to orthopedics because it offers an opportunity to fix people and their joint pain. I really enjoy helping people get back to what they love doing.
That also carried over to my subspecialty as an orthopedic foot and ankle specialist.
What Types of Patient Do You See?
I see a very broad range of patients, really from age six and up. Many of my younger patients will have playground injuries or growth-related problems.
I also treat many athletes - anywhere from high school, college, and other amateur sports to well known professional athletes.
And then I also see older patients who may have a degenerative problems or tendon ruptures.
This is what ultimately led me to becoming a foot doctor. It’s great having such a wide variety of patients and interactions.
What Can Patients Expect Working with You?
Patients can expect to begin with a thorough exam and medical history, which then leads into the formulation of their diagnosis.
Once we have a diagnosis, we will create a treatment plan. That treatment plan could range from a brace to physical therapy to surgery.
I value that all patients are unique; really no two patients are alike. Even if there is the same diagnosis, the treatment plan is going to be individualized based on each patient’s needs.
What Makes Elite Sports Medicine + Orthopedics Different from Other Orthopedic Practices?
The mission at Elite is very simple: provide unsurpassed orthopedic and sports medicine care. That is our sole purpose as physicians. I truly trust all of my partners and would turn to them for surgery for myself or any family members.
What Has Been a Challenging Case You've Experienced as a Foot Doctor?
It is extremely difficult to pick out a single success story when you’ve been in practice for fifteen years, but I did have an interesting and challenging patient recently.
The patient was out of the country and went ziplining. Unfortunately, the line was made in such a way that they did not clear the landing. They struck their foot and ankle on a concrete platform, suffering several dislocations.
It was a very complicated series of surgeries that were required to repair their foot and ankle. However, we were able to have successful surgeries, and that patient is now walking again six months later and back to what they enjoy doing.
Any Recommendations as a Foot and Ankle Specialist How People Can Prevent Injuries?
Well, you can’t necessarily prevent these injuries, as we like being active and engaged. There are some measures you can take to help reduce the incidence or potential of injury.
Stretching certainly helps, as does cross-training or performing a variety of activity and movements. You should also ease your way from one sports season into another.
How Can You Get the Most out of Your Treatment?
The main thing when recovering from foot and ankle surgery is avoiding any impact activity. Swimming, biking, or the elliptical are much easier on the feet than running.
Dr. Jeffrey Willers is a multiple-year recipient of the Castle Connolly Top Doctor award, labeling him as one of the best foot doctors in Nashville, TN. Dr. Willers has been with Elite Sports Medicine + Orthopedics since 2005.
If you are suffering from joint pain or athletic injury, you can request an appointment with him or any of our other experienced orthopedic surgeons near you in Middle Tennessee.