Official Physicians for BNP Paribas
Patrick St. Pierre,MD,Director of Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Research at Eisenhower Desert Orthopedic Center, led the team of Eisenhower physicians along with Stephen Steele,DO, head Primary Care physician for the tournament. Both physicians worked alongside the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) World Tour and Sony Ericsson WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) Tour trainers. Euthym Kontaxis,MD,Medical Director of Eisenhower Tennity Emergency Department, directed emergency services for the event.
“It was a privilege to provide high quality health care and work with these world-class tennis professionals,” says Dr. St. Pierre. “The event draws 300 of the top male and female tennis players, their trainers, coaches and therapists during the two-week tournament. These young athletes are on the road about nine months out of the year, so they bring with them a whole host of medical and orthopedic problems. They relied on us for a variety of medical services.We saw fractures, sprains, strains, gastrointestinal issues, infectious disease problems, eye injuries, dental problems, dermatology issues — the whole gamut.”
The Eisenhower Sports Medicine Program is led by Dr. St. Pierre and Dr. Steele.Along with Matthew Diltz, MD,Drs. St. Pierre and Steele are team physicians for College of the Desert sports programs, Palm Springs Power Baseball and many of the valley’s high school sports programs, in addition to caring for their patients in their daily practices.
“The great thing about working with world-class athletes is to be able to take what we learn and apply it to the patients we see each day,” says Dr. St. Pierre.“The pros leave the locker room having been stretched by a therapist for 30 minutes, and they continue with warm-up exercises before they take the court. The professional athletes have had injuries before, and realize that their longevity and prosperity is based on how well they warm up and protect their bodies. For many amateur athletes, they tie on their shoes, grab their racket, hit a few balls, and consider it a warm-up. This lack of preparation often leads to injury.”
Help for Every Type of Athlete
Generally, sports medicine means the care of the athlete. The Eisenhower Sports Medicine Program takes care of high school football teams, college teams and professional teams.
In addition, the Eisenhower Sports Medicine professionals take care of everyday athletes, helping people with their exercise programs and injuries that might occur in the gym, working out, hiking, playing tennis or playing golf.
• Athletics should not stop when you graduate from high school or college.
Everybody is an athlete and can participate in some form of exercise whether it is hiking, walking around the neighborhood, cycling, etc. All of these activities are athletic and important to a person’s health.
• The Sports Medicine community is focused on not only treating, but also preventing injuries.
Fitness, exercise and proper nutrition are stressed. “For people to be happier and healthier into their 80s they need to think about exercise and the benefits of staying in shape and maintaining an appropriate weight,” says Patrick St. Pierre, MD. “The patients I see with sports injuries who are 70 or 80 years old and fit and exercising, are much happier and healthier than the patients who are not exercising.”