Sports injury treatment trends amid COVID-19

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By: David DiPino
Contributing Writer

Overuse and chronic injuries are at the top of the list for the most common ailments orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist Dr. Jonathan Hersch is seeing this summer at his Tenet Florida Physician Services office in Boca Raton.

“A large percentage of the patients I’m seeing adopted a different type of exercise routine during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dr. Hersch said. “These are exercises they may not be used to resulting in overuse injuries in their hips, knees and shoulders.”

Another trend Dr. Hersch is noticing involves injuries which patients may have delayed seeking treatment for either before or during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“I have a lot of patients coming into the office with chronic injuries. Treatment for these injuries may have been recommended at a prior time. Some people may still have a fear of going to the doctor and that’s when a small problem becomes a bigger issue because the injury was neglected,” he said.

Dr. Hersch points out a variety of safety protocols are in place both at his Boca Raton office as well as at West Boca Medical Center where he performs orthopaedic surgery, either at the hospital or an affiliated outpatient surgery center located on the hospital’s campus.

“All of my staff is wearing masks in the office. We sanitize each exam room before and after each patient visit. We’re also spacing out appointments to minimize traffic in the waiting room and adhere to social distancing,” he added.

Other safe protocols at Dr. Hersch’s office include screening of all patients which includes a temperature check upon entrance to the office and the option for patients to wait outside in their cars instead of the waiting room prior to their appointment. Dr. Hersch’s office also limits the number of family or caregivers attending an appointment to just one person in the waiting room and only the patient in the exam room. His office maintains a full stock of personal protective equipment and uses a patient portal access to request prescription refills, appointments and questions for the staff.

Dr. Hersch is also offering telehealth appointments.

“We have telehealth available and it’s a great tool for routine, follow-up and new patient appointments. Our telehealth visits are very successful and they’re great because we can see people from the comfort of their home,” said Dr. Hersch.

As for elective procedures, COVID-19 safety protocols have been put in place at the hospital and outpatient surgery center where Dr. Hersch performs orthopaedic surgery.

“Anyone having elective orthopaedic surgery is tested for the COVID-19 virus days prior to the procedure taking place,” he said.

This COVID-19 curbside testing process includes a temperature check, screening and swab test. Once the patient tests negative for the COVID-19 virus, Dr. Hersch’s office schedules the surgery at the hospital or surgery center.

“Elective procedures are performed in the operating room with staff wearing masks and personal protective equipment throughout the entire process. Everything is spaced out and everyone is following safety protocols in place. All stations are cleaned thoroughly. Social distancing is mandated in the waiting room,” said Dr. Hersch. “There is a different pathway and section of the hospital for COVID-19 patients.”

One visitor per elective surgery patient is permitted.

Dr. Hersch specializes in adolescent and adult orthopaedic surgery and sports medicine care including hip arthroscopy, shoulder and elbow surgery, knee surgery, sports medicine and arthros-copy, and fracture care. Additionally, Dr. Hersch offers the Subchrondroplasty® (SCP®) Procedure for bone defects and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy for tendon, ligament, muscle and joint injuries. Dr. Hersch is certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. He has been practicing medicine since 2000. For his education and training, Dr. Hersch completed a fellowship in sports medicine at Cleveland Clinic and an orthopaedic surgery residency and a general surgery internship at Long Island Jewish Center. Dr. Hersch graduated medical school from New York University School of Medicine.

Dr. Hersch’s Tenet Florida Physician Services office is located at 6853 SW 18th St., Suite M111 in Boca Raton. For more information visit: www.HerschMD.com or call Dr. Hersch’s office at: 561-417-3339.