Dr. Jason Thackeray: Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon (PHOTOS)

Laura Hall, Under the Radar
Dr. Jason Thackeray.

Editor’s Note: This article is the first in three-part series chronicling the process of having a total knee replacement and the sequence of events through the operation and rehabilitation.

I ask Dr. Jason Thackeray how he happened to come to Destin. 

“I was born in Pensacola, Fla., and was on the staff at Shands at the University of Florida. I always admired the people in the Panhandle and enjoyed the beautiful beaches. I knew that Sacred Heart Hospital had acquired land to build a hospital locally, and it sparked my interest in Orthopaedic Associates founded by Dr. Bill Marshall over 30 years ago. I was thrilled when Dr. Marshall and Dr. Macey asked me to join their group. I came here in 2002 and wouldn’t trade that opportunity for anything.”

And the doctor said it’s a true team effort.

“I am very proud of the group we have at Orthopaedic Associates. We have an outstanding group consisting of five orthopedic surgeons, one foot and ankle podiatrist and one hand and micro-vascular specialist,” he said. “We have a gifted group that brings many talents together under one roof.  We are very close to completing our needs with a fellowship trained spine surgeon soon to be coming on board.”

Thackeray is married to Amanda, who has a PhD in Child Development and founded Gateway Academy when they moved to Destin. Amanda home schools all three of their boys — Houston 13, Caden 11 and Silas, 6.  Mention of the family brings light to Thackery’s eyes and a grin that turns up from happiness within.  He is quick to brag about all of them and says that Amanda is “the glue that holds us all together.”  The older boys hunt and fish with him, and Houston is an avid golfer.

Asking what he does in his spare time brings an unexpected picture of a 190-pound wild hog killed on his farm in DeFuniak Springs. 

“The boys and I enjoy hunting deer, turkey, dove and wild pigs during the winter, and we enjoy all the typical allures of Destin, including boating and water sports in the summer,” he said. “Relaxing with my family is the most important thing I have away from work.”

Thackeray, an orthopedic surgeon, tells me why he looks forward to his job. 

“I want to help people restore their independence, improve their pain and return them to the hobbies, sports or other activities of daily life that they want to do,” he said. “It’s exciting for me to see their recovery from surgery.  Whether it’s a golfer, tennis player returning to their sport or an elite athlete returning to the field of play.  It is just as important to me to restore a sweet little old lady’s ability to walk to her mailbox and back.”

“Knee replacement is about as big of an operation as one could go through; but, most of the time it is well worth it in the end. If a person is considering knee replacement, I always ask them to speak privately to people who have experienced this operation,” he added.

Deciding  to take Thackeray up on this idea, I talk with Richard Wood of Kelly Plantation.  Richard says, “Years ago I had Dr. Thackeray give me a total right knee replacement and that worked out great.  Years of left handed tennis playing and racing large sailboats damaged my left shoulder to the point of being unstable. So in 2011, I was back to Thackeray for left shoulder surgery.  In 2012, I saw Thackeray again and received a total left knee replacement.  Everything the doctor said he would do, he did. Everything I should be able to do has come to fruition.  It has made my life better.” 

Today at age 83, Richard still plays tennis with his peer group two to three times a week.

My husband Norm had his right knee replaced 10 years ago by none other than Dr. Thackeray.  Fortunately he is still available and has agreed to do Norm’s left knee replacement. I ask Dr. Thackeray to give me an interview for this article. He moves faster than a speeding bullet and it took me forever to get him to sit still for a 20 minute interview. I’m not put off by this because I know he operates at warp speed, and when I finally sit down with him, I find he is gracious, intense and absorbed in his profession.

           Norm has been scheduled at Sacred Heart Hospital for a DePuy Snythes Joint Reconstruction.  The next installment of this article will take you behind closed doors into an operating room where many of us have never witnessed the procedures that go on.

Laura Hall is a freelance reporter and longtime Destin resident.  Have an interesting topic, contact her at