By Paul E. Caldwell, MD
Tuckahoe Orthopaedic’s own Dr. Paul Caldwell recently returned from working at the CITI Open Tennis Tournament in Washington, DC.
As there is added benefit to being treated by a physician intimately familiar with your specific sport, we sat down with Dr. Caldwell for some additional details on how he became involved with the tour and other interesting tidbits about the tennis event.
Q: How did you get involved with tennis and the CITI Open Tennis Tournament?
My brother was a professional tennis player and I had the opportunity to work with him while he was on the pro tennis tour.
It was during that time (before I entered medical school), that I had a chance to meet some of the physicians at the event. I was also able to keep in touch with them during my medical training.
Once I was out of school and officially practicing, they were happy to have me on board based on my previous experience and knowledge.
Q: What were your specific responsibilities at the tournament?
The CITI Open is a combined 10-day event. Thus, I had the opportunity to work with both ATP (professional men’s tour) and WTA (professional women’s tour) players.
My main responsibility was to be present and tend to any injuries. This included consultation and medical care in two main places – the training room and on the playing court (to make “court calls” if necessary).
Q: What tennis injuries did you witness most often?
The most common problems presented during these events are shoulder issues (generally incurred from serving) and knee issues (incurred from running and/or twisting).
The primary cause for injury comes as a result of overuse. Unlike many other professional sports, there is no off-season for tennis. This means that players compete all over the world year-round, not really getting a break from the competitive level, unlike sports such as football or basketball.
Physicians at the tournament tend to advise on a lot of preventative medicine, as rarely do players need surgery while they are at a specific tournament.
Q: How would you explain the benefits of being treated by a doctor intimately familiar with a sport and/or one who has served professional athletes?
Possessing close ties to a sport really helps a physician comprehend what needs to be done to correct any underlying problem for the athlete. This might mean adjusting the type of training, specific mechanics, or the hours on the court
In addition, having the opportunity to work with professional athletes allows a physician to understand the training and thought process that goes into competing at the highest levels of competition. Thus, he or she is prepared to handle almost any situation. In most cases, it’s something the average sports doctor cannot provide.
Q: What would you say is your favorite part of participating in the tournament?
I enjoyed being up-close and on the court to see professional athletes play a great game of tennis and I look forward to my future involvement.
With years of experience in the tennis world, Dr. Caldwell is here to help treat your tennis-related injuries. If you’re suffering from a tennis injury, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Caldwell today.