By David DiPino The Pineapple Staff Writer Orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist Dr. Jonathan Hersch is ready to treat just about any ailment the rigors of playing professional tennis serves up, even a bee bite, as he begins his tenth year as medical director of the Delray Beach Open by The Venetian Las Vegas®. A few weeks ago, tennis legend Roger Federer received on-court medical attention for a numb and swollen finger at the Australian Open. Federer, who ranks no. 2 in the world according to the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Rankings, had just lost the first set of a recent second round tennis match when he noticed a weird feeling on the top of his finger. He called over to the medical director provided by the tournament and the physiotherapist team who travels with the ATP. After a few minutes of medical care, Federer returned to action and won the next three sets and the match to advance in the tournament. If a similar situation arises at the Delray Beach Open, Dr. Hersch, the tournament’s medical director, will be called onto the court or training room to assess any injury or provide his medical expertise and direction to a team of medical professionals taking care of players behind the scenes at the tournament. Dr. Hersch is certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and completed his fellowship training in sports medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. His Tenet Florida Physician Services (TFPS) office is located in Boca Raton and he is on staff at West Boca Medical Center, which is part of Tenet Florida. Delray Medical Center, also part of the Tenet Florida network is a sponsor of the Delray Beach Open. “As medical director I work closely with the physiotherapist from the ATP staff on everything from ankle sprains, broken and dislocated fingers, dehydration, to players coming down with the common cold or the flu,” said Dr. Hersch. According to Delray Beach Open tournament chairman, Ivan S. Baron, a former professional tennis player, the ATP World Tour sends two physiotherapists to each event to oversee the tournament’s medical room and assist players with anything from a sore muscle, common cold or flu to a twisted or sprained limb. The event has emergency medical services (EMS) on site during match play to assist the general public as well as any players in case of an emergency. “ATP rules state we must have a doctor on-site during all match play. Dr. Hersch staffs the event with physicians and assists players with anything from player health questions, to colds and fevers, sprains and broken limbs. He works with the ATP physiotherapists as they might have medical questions for him as well. If a player needs hospital care, tests, or medication, Dr. Hersch is our on-site medical director to provide the type of individual medical care each player needs,” said Baron. “Dr. Hersch is a true professional and we’re very fortunate to have him oversee our medical staff. We need the best and only use and want the best, as we host many of the best players in the world.” “I’m on-site during the tournament and we’re in constant contact over walkie-talkie. When a player is injured or has a medical issue I come over and evaluate the player. Then, I give a short-term or long-term diagnosis. I work with the staff on-site and through the ATP have access to the player’s current online medical records that are constantly updated to make an evaluation for treatment and care,” Dr. Hersch said. Due to technological advances in terms of equipment combined with world class athletic training, tennis is being played at a higher intensity. Dr. Hersch, a tennis player, thinks this higher intensity causes an influx in overuse injuries. He said, pro tennis player’s bodies break down due to the rigors of being on a pro-tennis tour and sometimes these players can’t get enough rest so their bodies never get the chance to fully recover. Dr. Hersch is seeing a lot of those overuse cases and the occasional tennis elbow walk right into his Boca Raton office with TFPS and while he’s on staff at West Boca Medical Center. At the hospital, he is using a minimally invasive tendon repair procedure called percutaneous tenotomy which relieves tennis and golfer’s elbow in as little as 15 minutes helping patients to relieve pain and avoid surgery. The tendon repair uses ultrasound as a guide, acting like a road map for the surgeon. A tennis aficionado, Dr. Hersch began his career towards a medical directorship when he began medical consulting with the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and the Chris Evert Tennis Academy. Dr. David Dines, medical director for the ATP Tour, is Dr. Hersch’s mentor. Dr. Hersch, a Parkland resident, began his medical directorship at a Sunrise Challenger ATP event over a decade ago. Dr. Hersch is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon and team physician for professional and junior athletes. He has been practicing sports medicine since 2000, and has a strong focus on helping athletes of all levels get back on track – competing once again at their prior peak performance. He has been practicing orthopaedics for over 14 years. Dr. Hersch’s areas of interest include: shoulder and elbow surgery, knee surgery, sports medicine and arthroscopy, fracture care, platelet rich plasma injections (PRP), adolescent and adult care and hip arthroscopy. “With expertise in sports medicine and arthroscopic surgery, I have been getting athletes (professional and amateur), and weekend warriors back in their game. Along with a team of highly skilled therapists in the community I am dedicated to restoring people back to their good health. I am a compassionate listener and will individualize treatments to each patient as they are all unique,” said Dr. Hersch. For more information on Dr. Jonathan Hersch visit: HerschMD.com or call Dr. Hersch’s office at 561-417-3339. Dr. Jonathan Hersch’s Tenet Florida Physician Services practice is located at 6893 SW 18th St., Ste. F-101, Boca Raton, FL 33433.