Medical Director of The Delray Beach Open, Takes Care of Overuse Injuries Ailing Tennis Pros

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By David DiPino The Pineapple Contributing Writer As medical director of a pro tennis tournament, Dr. Jonathan Hersch expects to treat more than just the annoying tennis elbow. With tennis being played at a higher intensity, Dr. Hersch, an orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist at Tenet Florida Physician Services (TFPS) in Boca Raton, said he is seeing a lot of tennis players with overuse injuries. Dr. Hersch is on-staff at West Boca Medical Center and will begin his ninth year as medical director of The Delray Beach Open by The Venetian® Las Vegas, February 14-23 at the Delray Beach Stadium & Tennis Center, 201 W. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach. With the world’s top-pro tennis players competing for over $1 million in prize money on the stadium’s hard-court Plexiplave playing surface, Dr. Hersch anticipates he will be treating a wide array of sports injuries, but also some of the common ailments that follow pro tennis players around the globe. “As medical director I work closely with the physiotherapist from the ATP staff on everything from ankle sprains, broken and dislocated fingers, dehydration, players coming down with the common cold or the flu,” said Dr. Hersch. “I think we are seeing a lot of overuse injuries due to the higher intensity of the game. Pro tennis player’s bodies break down due to the rigors of being on a pro-tennis tour. Sometimes these players can’t get enough rest and their bodies never get the chance to fully recover.” Dr. Hersch works hard to keep those injuries and ailments from turning too serious, which could result in an early tournament exit, resulting in lost prize money or ATP ranking. “We have had players too ill to continue. Players withdraw from a tournament due to injury or medical reasons,” Dr. Hersch said. Dr. Hersch works closely with the pro player’s trainers, their physical therapists, and a physiotherapist on-staff with the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) on-site at the tournament. According to Delray Beach Open tournament chairman, Ivan Baron, a former ATP tennis player, a physician has to be on-site during tournament play. “ATP rules state we must have a doctor on-site during all match play. Dr. Hersch works closely with the ATP physiotherapist and then if the 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. “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. Dr. Hersch, a tennis aficionado, 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, the 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. “I have been practicing orthopaedics for over 12 years. 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. 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. Dr. Hersch’s Tenet Florida Physician Services practice is located at 6893 SW 18th St., Ste. F-101 in Boca Raton. For more information on Dr. Jonathan Hersch visit: www.drjonathanhersch.com or call Dr. Hersch’s office at 561-417-3339.