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New orthopedist opens
Debut talk promotes county worker health
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Dr. Stephen Tankersley explains the important role weight management plays in maintaining bone and joint health.
Dr. Stephen Tankersley, the area’s newest orthopedist, made his debut with an informational session Feb. 19 for county employees.   
“I think it’s going to be a very busy practice,” Tankersley said. “I want to provide a really high quality of care and I want to make it as much as possible [so] people who want to get good orthopedic care don’t have to leave the community.”
Given over a light lunch of sandwiches, fruit and water, Tankersley’s presentation focused on healthy eating, weight loss and weight management.
He compared carrying extra pounds to constantly lugging around a 75-pound backpack. With visual aids, he showed X-rays of bone-on-bone knee joints where obesity had caused cartilage deterioration.
“What we’re finding out it’s not so much how much you weigh, but where you store it,” Tankersley said.
To the surprise of many luncheon attendees, Tankersley said all diets work, but should not be looked to as a “short term fix.”
It takes commitment and an ability to follow through.
“The key is, you’ve got to find one that’s comfortable for you,” Tankersley said. “You want to get on a program where you’re eating healthy and you can sustain it for a period of time.”
The doctor also debunked the myth that joint pain means to avoid exercise.
Building muscle helps shed the pounds, even after workouts.
“The more lean muscle mass you have, the most calories you’re burning, 24 hours a day,” Tankersley said.
He encouraged listeners to view weight management as a marathon, not a sprint.
“If you fall off the wagon, it’s not really a big deal,” he said.
Tankersley officially opened his practice here March 2, replacing orthopedist Dr. Chris Vaughn, who moved in October.
Tankersley comes to the Coastal Empire from North Carolina, but grew up in Statesboro.
“For me, it [Liberty County] kind of feels like, in a lot of ways, that I’m coming back home,” Tankersley said.
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